This article considers Paul's purpose in writing Romans. Wu wants to demonstrate exegetically that Paul's motive in writing Romans was to motivate them to support his mission to the “barbarians” in Spain. He argues that the letter’s theology exists to allow Paul to preach the gospel where Christ had not been known (Romans 15:20). Wu works out the implications for the church's missiological and pastoral practice.
How does information about building practices from the ancient Near East support an interpretation of the book of Ezekiel? Peterson's thesis is that Ezekiel deliberately omits some key human elements from ANE temple-building practices in his temple vision of Ezekiel 40:1-Ezekiel 43:11, in an effort to help Israel to realize the nature of their sin.
How should the use of contraceptives as instruments of family planning be viewed from a theological perspective? The arrival of the Pill in 1960 caused a major shift in thinking about this topic. Hollinger considers the theological argument against contraception that has too often been missing in ethical considerations in Protestant circles.
This article explores the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and whether there are structural connections between the two. Did the order of the the Old Testament books influence the ordering of the books of the New Testament canon? The article further considers what the possible implications are for the reading and interpretation of the Bible as one book.
What is the true identity of Nimrod that the readers of the Bible get acquainted with in Genesis 10:8, 9 (cf. 1 Chronicles 1:10, Micah 5:6)? This study wants to work towards a clearer identification of Nimrod by investigating the different words, phrases, and constructions that act as exegetical clues that can possibly throw more light on what can be known for certain about the biography of Nimrod.
Did God make one or three or perhaps even more covenants with Abraham? Do Genesis 12, Genesis 15, Genesis 17, and Genesis 22 refer to different covenants? This article argues that the Lord made a single covenant with Abraham and later supplemented that covenant by adding name changes, requirements, and promises.
Is the birth of Jesus from a virgin an invention of Matthew (Matthew 1:23) as part of a desire to fulfil the words of Isaiah 7:14? This article examines the interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 in pre-Christian times and how Matthew cited prophetic texts. It also reflects on the influence of the early tradition of Jesus’ descent from David upon Matthew's reference to a virginal conception.
What is the nature of human freedom in light of man's natural tendency towards sin? This article responds to a previous article in the journal by Paul Himes who argued that 1 Corinthians 10:13 provides good evidence in favour of libertarianism, at least in situations in which Christians are tempted to sin. Cowan argues contrary to Himes that the text actually supports a compatibilist view of freedom.
This article offers a new translation of the often-puzzling text 1 Timothy 2:15. Hubbard argues that this text refers to the safe-keeping of a woman through the ordeal of child-bearing. He also interprets the text against the background of the ancient Mediterranean world, which he believes to be essential for a good interpretation of Paul's letter and this verse in particular.
The interpretation of how Hosea 11:1 uses Matthew 2:15 has a troubled history. Beale gives a short overview of interpretations before he offers his grammatical-historical and biblical-theological approach. Beale concludes that Matthew makes a comparison between Jesus as the "son" with the "son" of Hosea.
The election of Israel to be the people of God is a significant theme in the Old Testament. This special position of Israel has offended many people both in the ancient and modern world. In a world of "equal opportunity," people argue that the idea of election leads to violence because it in effect defines all other nations as the enemy. The elect and the non-elect are seen as antagonistic categories.
This article provides a bibliography on relevant resources for the study of literature from the intertestamental period, which is useful for an understanding of the background to the New Testament. Specific attention is given to the Dead Sea Scrolls, but also authors like Philo and Josephus, as well as rabbinic literature and the Talmud.
This study explores the possibility that Paul created the so-called hymnic material he is using in Ephesians 5:14. Supporting this thesis is a study of the way that the passages from Isaiah have been conflated in Ephesians 5 and have influenced the broader contours of Ephesians. The authors first look at the Old Testament text behind the citation and then demonstrates how Paul contextually appropriates the texts for his purposes.
The use of Amos 9:11-12 in Acts 15 has been much discussed. Many covenant theologians has seen this text as evidence for the church replacing Israel. Dispensational exegetes treat this text as not relevant for the present age but a reference to a future state of affairs. Hays seeks to follow a third alternative and steer clear of the pitfalls mentioned.
In this article Hays argues that the theme of justice is the central theme and motif of Luke 18:1 to Luke 19:10. Hays notices Luke's use of the Old Testament prophets and the theme of justice to be found in the prophets as it is connected to the coming messianic era. He then notices the socio-economic context of the first-century Palestine. Finally, Hays demonstrates how the theme of justice runs through Luke 18 to 19.
This article wants to consider the soteriological significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The author considers Jesus' resurrection in relation to his offices as Messiah: prophet, priest (Hebrews 5:5–10), and king (Acts 2:30–32). He wants to emphasize that the resurrection on Sunday is more than just a "proof" of the gospel of the cross.
What is the significance of salt in the Bible? Why are the disciples of Jesus called the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13)? This study argues that there are four central notions that stand out. The binding factor is the biblical idea of covenant. The article proceeds with a survey of salt in the Hebrew Scripture and the disciples as salt in the New Testament.
Many commentators agree that the prophecies in Isaiah 40-Isaiah 55 were written to a group of Hebrew exiles living in Babylon about 150 years after the time of Isaiah. However, this article wrestles with this point of view and therefore reassess the interpretation of seven passages that do not seem to address Hebrew exiles in Babylon.
According to Wolters the meaning of the verb αὐθεντέω, which occurs in 1 Timothy 2:12, has been under considerable scholarly discussion since the 1980s. The thesis of this article is that one important attestation to the possible meaning of the word has not received the due attention because of an error of dating.
This article is an argument in defence of proof-texting. Historically, it has served a useful function as a sign of disciplinary symbiosis among theology and exegesis. The authors believe that a renewed practice of proof-texting may serve as a sign of lively interaction between biblical commentary and Christian doctrine.
Does the New Testament use the Old Testament in a contextual manner, that is, acknowledging the literary context from where the reference is taken? The thesis of this article is that Paul’s use of Exodus 32:6 in 1 Corinthians 10:7 and the flow of the argument in 1 Corinthians 10:1–13 are best understood against the literary context of covenant making, breaking, and renewal in Exodus 19-Exodus 34.
Mark 14:51-52 is a major crux of Mark’s Gospel where we find the account of a young man fleeing naked from the scene as Jesus was arrested. This essay reviews the opinions of the young man’s identity. It proposes not an identification of this man, but the theological agenda of Mark. The paper wants to enable preachers to use this text in Mark 14 as the basis for a sermon that provides a valid application for transforming lives for God’s glory.
How do we move from the Bible to formulating theology? This article believes that a study of good examples may help to prevent the exercise from becoming purely theoretical. The author uses John Calvin to present an example of how one person made such a move. In particular he uses Calvin’s implicit approach to church leadership and in particular church government. This article wants to understand how Calvin moved from the Bible to practice and then compares it to contemporary models.
According to this article, a shift has occurred in how justification is viewed. The rise of the so-called New Perspective on Paul led to justification being viewed more in corporate terms. What is the place of the individual in Paul's view of justification? Hassler believes that the case that Paul was not really interested in “inner tensions of individual souls and consciences” has been overstated.
Seifrid wants to regard Romans 10 as providing an interpretive key to the gospel Paul proclaimed. He further wants to make use of this chapter in Romans to assess the vision of N. T. Wright on justification. He offers exegetical remarks on Romans 10:1-21, which he then uses to make critical remarks about what he understands Wright is teaching about justification.
The Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:1-2) and the first-century Jewish historian Josephus differ on the date for the census of Quirinius. In this study, the author argues that Josephus's account of the census and the revolt by Judas the Galilean is actually a mistaken duplication of events that occurred much earlier.
In this article N. T. Wright responds to critical questions on his view on justification by faith. For Wright justification is rooted firmly in Jesus himself. He has four preliminary considerations: the question of Scripture and tradition, the issue of Paul’s context and later contexts, the methodological issues of words and stories, and the understanding of Second Temple Judaism.
Thielman is convinced that if one is to understand how justification functions in Paul's writings, one needs to understand how the righteousness language functions in Romans 1:17. He argues in this article that part of the reason for the volatile interpretive history of this verse is that the phrase is polyvalent. He further argues that the "righteousness of God” has three meanings in Romans 1:17.
This article is about justification, how lost sinners share in the saving righteousness of God in Christ. Schreiner is in dialogue with N. T. Wright. First, Schreiner is convinced that Wright wrongly says that justification is primarily about ecclesiology instead of soteriology. Next, Schreiner believes that Wright often introduces a false polarity when referring to the mission of Israel.
This article examines Paul’s interpretation of the veil of Moses (Exodus 34:29-35) in 2 Corinthians 3:7-18. This application is burdened with difficulties. Garrett wants to offer a new translation and interpretation of 2 Corinthians. He starts with an examination of the narrative of Exodus 19-Exodus 34 and then analyzes 2 Corinthians 3.
This study suggests that we find an allusion to Genesis 3:7 in Luke 24:31. Both Adam and Eve's eyes and those of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus were opened when they were offered food. The study first notes the general lack of attention in the relevant literature for the possibility of this inter-canonical connection. Ortlund identifies three scholars who link Luke 24:31 to Genesis 3, and then provides four factors that suggest such a link.
This study reflects upon the narrative manner in which the covenants are presented in the Old Testament. The covenants are portrayed with considerable narrative and architectonic art. Through a study of the relevant covenant narratives, one is enabled to see better the significance of God’s covenant-making procedure in the different covenants.
The Old Testament views leadership in general as a privilege granted to an individual in order to serve the interests of those who are led. This view of leadership is reflected in particular in Deuteronomy's version of the Decalogue. This article offers a comparison of Deuteronomy 5's versions of the Decalogue with Exodus 20.
In this article Chrisholm responds to a critique of Andrew Steinmann on his view on the chronology of the book of Judges. He offers a critique of Steinmann’s reply and amplifies and clarifies his own position.
This article responds to an article by Robert Chisholm, who proposed a chronology of the book of Judges. This chronology was based on a literary clue in the book itself. This article agrees with much of what Chisholm wrote. However, it asks whether the pattern Chisholm identified is necessarily a clue to the chronology of Judges or a clue to another feature developed by the author of Judges.
This article wants to encourage and enhance theological training and biblical instruction that can be of support and help in the area of bioethics. What is needed is to form a good theological perspective and seek wisdom. The article reflects on a realistic theological approach to counseling and bioethics.
Many scholars consider the classic formulations of the doctrine of Scripture to be that of Hodge's and Warfield's. Yet many criticisms have been brought in against their views over the years. Claims have been made that the Dutch Reformed theologians like Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck promoted a “functional” (organic) rather than a “philosophical” (mechanical) method to understand the nature of Scripture.
The issue of who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven was a matter of great weight to the Lord Jesus. The issue is addressed in all three Synoptic Gospels. For Jesus it is much more than a quarrel among his disciples; it is actually nothing less than the possibility that they will forego their place in the eschatological kingdom. The article focuses on Matthew 18:1-4, but the parallels in Mark and Luke are taken into account.
How does the order of the New Testament books in the canon function hermeneutically, that is, influence the way the books are interpreted? This article assumes that the location of a biblical book influences a reader’s view of the book. Readers presume that documents that are grouped together are related in some way in meaning.
This is a review article of the influential The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul by Douglas A. Campbell. Moo mainly interacts with what he sees as Campbell's fierce attack on Paul's theology of justification.
Deuteronomy 6-Deuteronomy 8 occupy an important place within the book of Deuteronomy and in the Jewish and Christian tradition. This essay seeks to understand the context of these chapters. It first surveys its history of interpretation and offers an evaluation. The thesis and proposal of the article is that the Decalogue (Deuteronomy 5:6-21) and the covenant ratification ceremony at Sinai (Exodus 24) offer a plausible context.
In this article Ware argues for the importance of viewing Christ as the God-man, which emphasizes the unity of the two natures of Jesus Christ. In support of his position, he appeals to two features of the life and ministry of Christ. The first consideration is the significance of Jesus who came as the long-awaited Messiah. Next, Ware considers the reality of the impeccability of Jesus.
The focus of the study is on John 20:12. The author uses the whole of John 19:38-John 20:18 as a basis of his study. He reflects on the possibility to see in John 20:12 an allusion to the ark of the covenant. Lunn finds a number of related allusions in the immediate context. He further explores the theological implications of such allusions from the Torah.
A very important date for the interpretation of the book of Daniel is 536 BC. This date refers to the end of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9:24. It is also the start of the sixty-nine weeks of Daniel 9:25-26. At the end of this period a messiah would appear and Jerusalem would be rebuilt. The author argues that Nehemiah was this anointed one.
Who is the "company of nations” referred to in Genesis 35:11 that shall come from Jacob? This article wants to understand its significance within the broader framework of the promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 and the way it developed in Genesis. The author proposes that the promise of “a company of nations” coming from Jacob is closely related to the initial promise to Abraham regarding blessings for the nations.
The field of New Testament textual criticism was strongly influenced by the publication of Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. The publication's main argument was that the early orthodox faith radically changed the text to conform to their views.
Christian worship must be biblical worship. What are the hermeneutical principles involved in developing a good biblical theology of worship? The primary goal in this paper is to clarify some of the hermeneutical confusion, by noting some of the distinct approaches that do exist in the English, Scottish, and American Presbyterian traditions.
What is the possible origin of the praise sections in the book of Revelation? Seal argues that John shaped his praise utterances according to the form of acclamations shouted to dignitaries of his time. The article first defines acclamations before discussing their form and function in John's Roman world.
Emerging scholarship want to read the New Testament as in a socio-political context that was dominated by Roman imperial ideology. Does imperial ideology indeed form the primary Greco-Roman background for the letters of Paul? Burk describes how American imperialism forms the background for this approach. He then goes on to extensively evaluate various aspects of the "Fresh Perspective," such as its drawing illegitimate parallels between the Roman Empire and present-day America.
The Synoptic Gospels regularly describe the way one enters the kingdom of God. The Synoptics rarely in these contexts explicitly mention faith. The Gospels do not imply that people merit eternal life and the kingdom; nevertheless, active obedience provides the gateway to life. The article draws attention to the way the Gospels framed the doctrine of salvation (soteriology).
This article continues Hawkins' debate with Rodger Young and Bryant Wood on the date of the exodus-conquest. He defends his methodology in this article.
Jobes underlines the importance of Bible translation. She reflects on Bible translation through her outline of a biblical theology of language. She also explores relevance theory as it bears on the question of translation. Jobes works toward conclusions on what characteristics a translation must have to be faithful.
What was the social position of women in antiquity? Were they less educated than men and did they enjoy less opportunity for public speech than men? Keener first notes the relevance of these questions for one line of egalitarian interpretation of Paul. He then examines some exceptions to this general rule, the presence of some women in advanced education, women in Jewish education, and women speaking in public.
The Gentiles of Macedonia and Achaia owed a material blessing to the messianic Jews in Jerusalem. What for? Do Gentile churches in the twenty-first century owe it as well? These and related questions are investigated as Peterman deals with Romans 15:26. He first makes comments on translation issues and the significance of the verse, then gives arguments for his conviction that Gentile Christians have a continuing debt to believing Jews.
The author first surveys the available options for reading Genesis 11:1-9: an ahistorical primaeval event, an agnostic historical event, or a known historical event. He then provides a reading of this passage as a known historical event, together with the textual and archaeological evidence considered.
This article wrestles with a question with a specific focus.
In this article, Hays responds to Clyde Billington who gave a proposal regarding the textual variant problem in 1 Samuel 17:4 concerning the height of Goliath. He responds to a number of aspects, including the difficulty of defining a cubit, the unexplained Dead Sea Scrolls evidence, the fear of Saul and its narrative context, Goliath’s armour and weapons, etc.
What was the size of Goliath and the giants we read of in Joshua? In this paper the author argues that both the six-cubits reading and the four-cubits reading of 1 Samuel 17:4 give the same basic height for Goliath. In addition, this paper will argue that both readings are saying that Goliath was about eight feet tall. It also seeks to answer related questions about the size of the exodus giants.
The Bible portrays the hostility between God and Satan, but there is also abundant testimony that Satan was subject to God’s control and was used by God to accomplish his purposes. He is indeed represented as a servant of God. This presentation of Satan is explicit in the book of Job. This article looks at how Satan is portrayed in Job and then explores how later biblical texts use this presentation of Job.
This article presents a critique of Robert Peterson who defends the traditional interpretation of eternal torment against the challenge posed by annihilationism. The author critically examines key features of Peterson’s case and suggest that it has some major shortcomings and is ultimately unsuccessful. Annihilationists admit that the Bible teaches eternal punishment. They differ with the more traditional view of what this punishment entails.
How should indirect speech be interpreted? In the New Testament, several passages of this nature are found, where the intended meaning of a statement differs from its direct meaning. Biblical interpreters from cultures where the style of communication is mostly direct easily miss the indirect meaning and instead interpret the statement in a direct manner. Montgomery looks at John 1:35-41 as a case in point.
What is the biblical date for the exodus? This article is a critical response to an earlier article by Bryant Wood who argued for an early dating of the exodus. Hoffmeier is convinced that the 13th century date is equally based on biblical evidence. He, therefore, offers a modest critique of some aspects of Wood’s apology for the 15th century. The discussion is placed within the context of the mainstream scholarship regarding the Israelite exodus from Egypt.
This article responds to recent criticisms of the doctrine of penal substitution as atonement for human sin. The author's main focus is the publication of The Lost Message of Jesus by Steve Chalke and Alan Mann from a British perspective, and views expressed by Joel B. Green from an American perspective. He notes four main charges brought against penal substitution.
Yamauchi reflects on three contrasting attitudes toward and interpretations of Scripture. The first sees Scripture as a talisman, where Scripture is used almost as a magical tool. The reference to Scripture as a specimen points to the critical analysis of the texts, as objects of academic study. A third view sees Scripture as a dragoman.
Jowers considers the implications of Philippians 2:6-7 for the person and work of Christ. Does the passage teach that Christ possesses two natures? May it be concluded from this that the possibilities of change and inequality within the deity are therefore excluded? Can this text be used like Augustine suggested, as a “canonical rule” for biblical exegesis?
The apostle Paul refers to Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Corinthians 9:9 and 1 Timothy 5:18. He makes the point that a minister of the gospel should be allowed to live from his work. This essay focuses on the meaning of Deuteronomy 25:4 in its literary context to establish if Paul is reading this verse as the author of Deuteronomy intended it.
Moore states that debates over gender very seldom have to do just with roles in church offices or roles in the home. It often reflects little more than one’s larger stance in the Christian response to contemporary culture. Moore argues for a counter-cultural relevance of the Christian church. A vision is needed where male headship is understood in the light of the gospel of Christ and the restoration of all things in Christ.
No outline can ever be a substitute for the reading of the Gospel of Mark. At most, it is an attempt to offer guidance about the significant divisions, turning points, interconnections, and developments in the narrative/story. Williams argues in this article for an overall outline or map of Mark’s Gospel. He wants to takes seriously the narrative shape of Mark. He pays close attention to narrative features such as character, setting, and plot.
In this article Schreiner responds to an article of Brian Abasciano who made critical remarks on Schreiner's handling of Romans 9. Schreiner argues that Abasciano’s argument is flawed. His grounds are that the connection Abasciano draws between corporate election and participation of individuals is unpersuasive both logically and biblically.
In a previous article Thomas Schreiner argued that Romans 9 teaches individual election unto salvation. Abasciano finds Schreiner's argument for the primacy of corporate election in Romans 9 unpersuasive. In this article, he examines Schreiner's case and articulates the nature of election as it is represented in Romans 9.
Some modern exegetes claim that the disciples' experience of Jesus after the resurrection was nothing more than a visionary experience. This article wants to challenge this view. It further challenges the view that the body of Christ was not important for the church in Jerusalem's concept of the resurrection of Christ.
Some scholars have questioned the legitimacy of seeing the Son in a subordinate role to the Father in the Gospel of John. Is that an indication that the majority of scholarship on this gospel has misread it? How should we understand Jesus’ unilateral obedience to and dependence on the Father? This essay reexamines the Gospel of John in the light of recent discussions. Cowan indicates that the Son’s subordination to the Father is a major theme in John.
What is the function of the imperatives in Ephesians 6:10-18? Are they simply a call to personal piety? Reinhard argues that it is important to understand the larger message of this pericope that comes from its relationship to the rest of the letter. Individuals are empowered as members of the church to strive to become who they already are in Christ. Believers should recognize their place within the body of Christ.
Webb proposes what he calls a redemptive-movement hermeneutic approach to understanding and applying Scripture. He first illustrates a redemptive-movement hermeneutic by reading biblical texts on slavery. Next, he addresses possible misunderstandings and misconceptions. In the third part of the article, Webb surveys four typical responses to his proposed hermeneutic, and responds to these views.
This essay examines the literary structure and message of one section of the book of Jeremiah. The focus is on the largely narrative section in Jeremiah 26-Jeremiah 45. It suggests a strategy for a holistic reading of this section. The author hopes that this will contribute to a better understanding of the literary and theological unity of the book of Jeremiah as a whole.
Grenz's concern is the telling of the story of salvation in terms of Jesus as image of God. He begins by outlining the <em>imago Dei</em> Christology of the New Testament. Next, he places this Christology in the context of the biblical story of man as image of God. Grenz also draws out the implications of this Christology for the flow of theological construction.
This article is an apology for the value of truth. Truth matters for Groothuis. He seeks honesty when dealing with truth for apologetic purposes. In this article he first explores the relationship of truth, self-deception, and personal virtue. He further considers the role of humility in the quest for truth and warns against the vice of intellectual apathy.
For many exegetes 1 Corinthians 15:56 is puzzling. In this article, Vlachos wants to examine this text carefully and evaluate previous attempts to explain the presence of the triad of law, sin, and death in the letter. He suggests that the text should be interpreted as an epigram that referred to the garden of Eden.
According to Bird, the central issue in current discussions with regard to the doctrine of justification is the topic of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. Bird wants to, in dialogue with the main protagonists, seek a solution that corresponds with the biblical evidence. He first offers a short history of the doctrine of imputed righteousness since the Reformation.
Approaching Scripture as literature is indispensable for exegesis. Exegesis is incomplete without proper attention being paid to the literary features of the biblical text. Adequate attention needs to be paid to matters of genre and form as well as of theology and history. This article is a study of Psalm 22, which takes all these aspects into consideration.
The Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is a call for exclusive covenant commitment to Yahweh. The importance of the Shema can be seen in its reflection in the Gospels. Block discusses the problem of the Shema and the significant factors in its interpretation. He concludes that the Shema should be interpreted as a monotheistic confession.
This article deals with the question whether it is possible for someone who has never heard the gospel to be saved. The author hopes to give a nuance to a classically Reformed view of the doctrine of salvation to embrace everything Scripture teaches on this aspect of the faith. He also wants to make use of insights from so-called inclusivism, which can be useful when understood from a Reformed perspective.
This article sees hospital visitation or visitation of the sick as a necessary part of the calling of the pastor. In particular, this author calls for an intentional re-orientation in the training of pastors toward a more biblically faithful and vocationally satisfying approach to the visitation of the sick and dying.
The interpretation of Matthew 23:2-4 still vexes many scholars. Does Jesus not contradict himself when he expects his disciples to practice all that the scribes and Pharisees teach, while at the same time accuses the Pharisees of making the Word of God worthless? This essay suggests that Jesus does affirm the authority of the Pharisees. This, however, is not a blanket endorsement of all their teachings.
In this article, Yarbrough reviews William Baird's volume History of New Testament Research, </em>volume two:<em> From Jonathan Edwards to Rudolf Bultmann.
Osborne writes this article from the conviction that in Hebrews the conflict of religions is pervasive. He wants to understand the nature of the clash that took place and contextualizes it for current situations. He notes the rhetorical strategy of the author and the centrality of Christ in Hebrews.
There is some confusion and uncertainty about the correct interpretation of 1 John 5:16-17. This essay is an attempt to demonstrate that the commonly accepted translation of 1 John 5:16c, “I am not saying that he should pray about that,” is not correct.
Poythress wants to defend the faith by noting how natural law or scientific law functions. He notes the character of natural law and its universal applicability. He further elaborates on aspects of law, that is, its personal character, power, divine attributes, incomprehensibility, beauty, and goodness. Poythress wants to acknowledge natural laws a created by God and reflecting something of the glory of God.
This study wants to work out some of the implications of an author-oriented reading of the Bible. Its primary goal is to answer this question: “Is a modern reading of the Bible the same as the original readers who read and listened to the text? It answers the question by means of a case study in the Gospel of Mark.
This article reviews six recent books on the topic of homosexuality: The Loyal Opposition - Struggling with the Church on Homosexuality, Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches, Homosexuality, Science, and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture,
This article wants to understand the reason for specifically evangelicals converting to Roman Catholicism. The stories of John Michael Talbot and Scott Hahn serve as typical examples. The model for conversion that McKnight proposes helps him to find a clear and consistent pattern for the phenomenon under discussion.
What are our cultural presuppositions with which we approach biblical interpretation? The concern of the article is that not enough acknowledgment is given to the oral character of the first-century culture. This article considers what kind of literary culture the first century was and its significance for understanding the nature of the New Testament documents.
This essay reflects on the theological question of the future of Israel. Blaising defines "Israel" as a designation for the descendants of Jacob as an ethnic, cultural, and national entity. Consideration of the future of Israel is a question about the national future of the descendants of Jacob. The author does not ask about the future of Israel as a state.
This article reflects on the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justificatiion" drawn up by official representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Worldwide Lutheran Federation as the fruit of a two-decade dialogue. Dorman first reflects on key portions of the declaration and its supporting documents. Some of the international responses are also examined.
This article reflects on the terminological patterns in Genesis 39, comparing it with the rest of Genesis
In this article, Block reflects on how in particular the book of Deuteronomy came to be viewed as the book of Moses. The article begins by describing the problem and its significance. It surveys the solutions that have been proposed. The main section of the paper considers the evidence for the genesis of the book and its relevance for the interpretation of Scripture.
Preaching cannot be separated from the interpretation of Scripture. Reflection on the work of E. D. Hirsch Jr. naturally finds a place in reflection on homiletics. This article argues that the hermeneutic of Hirsch has much to offer expository preaching. This article tries to answer the following questions: What are the basic hermeneutic contentions of Hirsch?
The function of symbolism in Old Testament narrative is treated in this article in the case of Samson killing of a lion (Judges 14). Emmrich argues that it has greater significance than to authenticate Samson's calling as judge or to provide a demonstration of Samson’s strength. Literary and thematic parallels between Judges 14:5-6, 8 and Judges 15:14-19 are examined.
Does Romans 11 teach a future mass conversion of Israel]? This paper argues against such an expectation. It contends that there will always be a [[remnant of believing Jews. Merkle reviews three of the popular interpretations of Romans 11:26 and also answers some expected objections against his view.
Jones argues in his article that in order to understand the contemporary sexual revolution, the “new sexuality” in its homosexual expression must be seen as an integral expression of age-old religious paganism. Jones gives an overview of the modern revival of paganism. Characteristic is the erasing of the distinction between the sexes.
How important should matters of environmental stewardship and ecology be for Christians? Davis argues in this article that deficiencies in the doctrine of creation and the doctrine of the atonement in some recent evangelical systematic theology textbooks have contributed to a lack of Christian stewardship in the area of environmental matters.
Public policy and faith are often difficult to relate. This essay wants to help construct a biblically informed perspective on matters of public policy as it relates to labour, poverty, and wealth. It offers an analysis of the book of James with attention to passages that deal with the rich and the poor and examines the implications of these Christian public ethics.
How important is a good understanding of the cultural world of the early Christians? This article wants to examine carefully Jesus' encounter with some of his adversaries narrated in Mark 11:27-33. The author highlights the way that the values of honour and shame functioned in Mediterranean culture, and illumines the text at crucial points.
What is the nature of the relationship between Christ and the church? What is the role of the church in salvation? In this article the author reflects on the significance of the image used for the church as the body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:27 for our understanding of the functions of the church as prophet, priest, and king.
This article's concern is a better understanding of the word "charisma" in its different contexts in the New Testament (e.g., 1 Corinthians 12). It argues that scholarship has not adequately appropriated the linguistic insights of James Barr, in particular his concerns to distinguish word and concept. The author warns against the influence of a popular theological understanding that "spiritual gifts" are Spirit-given abilities.
It is the thesis of this article that the expression in Habakkuk 2:4b, "The righteous live by his faith," forms the core of the theme of Habakkuk’s entire message. From this text, the complete book of Habakkuk may be organized and interpreted with respect to structure, style, content, and purpose. The author then analyzes the composition and structure of Habakkuk.
Kinman wants to reconsider the exegesis of Luke 12:57-59. He provides reasons to question the consensus interpretation. His reasons are based on three factors that he considers: the literary setting of the passage in its context, the phenomenon of debt in Hellenistic law, and the language of the passage itself.
It seems as if Paul grounds the taking away of the condemnation in Romans 8:1 in the transforming work of the Spirit. This article notes how often this passage suffers under efforts and approaches taken to harmonize it with the traditional Protestant teaching on justification and sanctification. It continues to seek to understand the significance of this passage for Protestant theology.
There is a continued disagreement over the interpretation of the parable of the lost son in Luke 15:11-32. In particular, there is disagreement as to whether the first section deals with the theme of repentance or not. Another point of disagreement is whether in the second part the elder son serves as a referent for the Jewish religious leaders. Forbes wants to analyze the story, keeping these two issues in mind.
Romans 2:12-16 raises important questions. What is the relationship of the Law to the Gentiles? Does Romans 2 teach that there is a “natural law” that is a Gentile equivalent to the Law of Moses? Has this text anything to say about conscience? Is it possible for Gentiles to receive salvation through obedience to this natural law? Is Paul’s argument in Romans 2:12-16 a contradiction to what he wrote in Romans 3:9 and 20?
Do the words of Mark 16:7-8 make good sense as the conclusion to Mark’s Gospel? This essay wants to present and evaluate different attempts to explain the meaning and significance of Mark’s abrupt ending.
The main thesis of this article is that we find in the Bible three insights that guide godly relationships between women and men. First, the author directs his readers to the mutuality within the triune God. The next insight is that the goal of male-female relationships is to reflect the very character of God. Finally, Grenz focuses on the means to godly relationships, i.e., empowering the other.
This article is based on the conviction that there is a link between Proverbs 30:7-9 and echoes of it in the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Mattew 6:9-13. These echoes of Proverbs do not preclude Jesus’ use of traditional and current Jewish prayers in the Lord’s Prayer. Echoes noted include the prayer for daily bread and the hallowing of the Lord's Name.
Groothuis' conviction is that Blaise Pascal’s apologetic orientation is still useful to the church. He starts his argument from the point of the human condition. It is appealing in a psychologized and individualistic culture. Groothuis first notes Pascal’s treatment of the contradictions (greatness and misery) of humanity, then his explanation for this human condition, and finally the form of Pascal's argument.
This essay is a response to Mark Strauss’ detailed analysis of the Colorado Springs Guidelines for Translation of Gender-Related Language in Scripture.
In this article the author responds to the Conference on Gender-Related Language in Scripture where the participants drafted a series of guidelines on gender-related language in Bible translation. This paper is an examination and critique of these guidelines. The author argues that these guidelines are linguistically and hermeneutically incomplete and misleading.
The focus of this article is the critical point in Paul’s use of the creation/fall/promise theme in 1 Timothy 2:13–15. The apostle's argument is based on Genesis 1-3 and should be read as part of the unit of 1 Timothy 2:8-15. Gruenler argues that this forms part of the larger context of the Pastorals as a mission genre with a specific exhortation to effective Christian lifestyle.
Robertson is convinced that a reexamination of the so-called curse of Ham as found in Genesis 9:20-27 is needed. Too often there is a readiness to interpret this passage in a manner that denigrates the black man and displays racist prejudice. The article examines three important questions. "What was the sin of Ham?," "Why was Ham's son rather than Ham himself cursed?," and "Is this passage to be interpreted in a politico-ethnic context or in a redemptive-historical context?"
This article reflects on the natural theology of the seventeenth-century fathers of modern science. This natural theology permeated the philosophical fabric of science for two hundred years. The article argues that this theology was brought to maturity in the deism of eighteenth-century science and the agnosticism and atheism that followed Darwin’s revolution.
Can it be declared that God is clearly revealed in creation and his government of creation? Is this general revelation accessible to all people? Early Christian exegesis of Romans 1:18–22 tried to reflect on these questions. This article wants to treat general revelation from a theological perspective, with special reference to the church fathers and ancient Christian exegetes.
In Dispensationalist theology it is traditionally argued that “Babylon” in Revelation 14, Revelation 17, and Revelation 18 is a symbol indicating some form of a re-established Rome. This view is built on a reading of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah in such a way that the rebuilding of the city and empire of Babylonia should be expected in the eschaton.
in February 1997 Scottish geneticists successfully cloned a sheep named Dolly. This was a milestone in modern biotechnology. This article attempts to react to the ethical aspects of cloning from a Christian perspective. The argument of this essay is that Christians ought to encourage a moratorium on human cloning because there do not appear to be any motives or reasons for cloning that are in harmony with God's design for human existence.
Typology is an important hermeneutical tool. In this article the author surveys four different views of typology: the covenant view, the revised dispensational view, the progressive dispensational view, and the view of Richard M. Davidson. Specific focus is on how each view would (or would not) apply typology to explain the relationship between [[Israel and the church].
The distinction between the Christ of faith and the historical Jesus is, according to Huffman, not a recent development in the church. This essay wants to examine the earliest interpretations that use this distinction.
The article is written from the conviction that the Old Testament has a lot to say about divorce and remarriage. It emphasizes the neglected texts in the Old Testament where divorce is either allowed, or sometimes even commanded. It also notes that God’s estranged relationship with Israel is described by using divorce imagery. The concept of marriage as covenant plays a central role.
This article reflects on the significance of the preexistence of Christ. Often this doctrine does not receive much attention but is rather assumed. McCready notes modern objections against this doctrine. Specific attention is given to the views of James Dunn as it is articulated in his understanding of Philippians 2:6–11.
How should we look at the use of large numbers in the Old Testament? Fouts gives examples of difficulties with large numbers in Scripture and gives a short overview of the history of interpretation of these texts. Most of these large numbers occur in the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. He argues that many of these large numbers are often simply figures of speech used to magnify Yahweh or David as king.
Is there a specific purpose behind the location of Proverbs 9:7-12 in the book of Proverbs? This essay answers this question and also reflects on perspectives of various scholars regarding the nature of this passage.
Who am I? How can I improve my life? These are questions frequently asked in contemporary society. In this article, the author focuses on a Christian self-understanding or self-concept. From a view of theological anthropology, the author reflects on the true nature of man and how to evaluate the soul-body concepts in the Bible.
Is the church really well-prepared and ready to face the challenge of a proper response to ethical issues like homosexuality? Relevant aspects of the role of social science, sexuality in general, and etiological studies are considered, focusing on family studies, physiological causes, and psychological causes.
The authors reflect upon the context of postmodernism in which the church finds itself and the impact it has on both an evangelical understanding of the authority of Scripture and a hermeneutic that allows believers to understand and apply God's Word to different aspects of the Christian faith and life.
What should be imagined is new about the new heaven and the new earth, proclaimed in Revelation 21:1-8 and 2 Peter 3:10-13? Does Revelation portray God as creating a new heaven and earth ex nihilo? Will the new earth be a reproduction of the pre-fall original creation, or will it somehow be a renewal of this present creation after the fall?
What do we learn about the relationship between Israel and the church and how to understand God’s eschatological program from the way Peter cites Joel 2:28–32 in Acts 2:16–21? How should the apocalyptic imagery in Joel 2 be interpreted and how was it fulfilled on the day of Pentecost? Treier considers these questions and arrives at a model for of a single-fulfilment interpretation.
What do we know about the Pharisees and the Sadducees? Newman wants to characterize these two groups and gather information from Josephus and rabbinic literature. However, to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees,” Newman argues that the New Testament must be the primary source. He uses the biblical text as an exhortation to the contemporary church.
Sontag critically interacts with Leonardo Boff's account of Francis of Assisi in the context of liberation theology. Boff wants to use Francis as a model for human liberation. Who are the poor and how does Nikos Kazantzakis, Francis of Assisi, and Leonardo Boff interpret it? Sontag reflect on these issues in the light of the Lord who saves the humble of spirit.
In this paper, the author reflects upon a number of interpretive principles that the author of Hebrews used in his letter, in particular Hebrews 2. These principles are pastoral/rhetorical, Christological, and contextual principles. The use of the Old Testament receives focused attention since that is where the author’s hermeneutical practice is most evident.
Colijn writes from the conviction that the doctrine of salvation (soteriology) in the letter to the Hebrews deserves more attention. The images of salvation used in Hebrews differ from the familiar images of justification and reconciliation that are usually in focus of systematic theologies, and thus enrich our understanding of the soteriology of the New Testament. In Hebrews, salvation is a journey toward a promise, a journey toward God. This essay focuses on the basis and nature of salvation, and the results of salvation.
This article works with the assumption that there is a structure in Matthew's composition. It further emphasizes that discerning the overall literary structure involves identifying smaller literary components that make up larger sections of the Gospel and give them their overall themes. McClister wants to examine Matthew 17:22-Matthew 20:19 as such a unit to determine the meaning of the text.
What is the "Pentateuchal principle" that functioned in the formation of the canon? This article seeks to apply insights of Isaac Kikawada, who argued for a "five-part" or Pentateuchal structure in the design of the book of Genesis. It wants to explain the basic structural principle of the canonical process both in ancient Israel and early Christianity.
The term “midrash” is frequently used in discussions in New Testament scholarship and research in the Gospels in particular. Unfortunately, there is no unified understanding of its meaning. It can refer to a rabinnic method of interpretation of Scripture. Sometimes it is used as a reference to a creative historiography where there is very little connection to real history.
The theory and practice of interpretation is called hermeneutics. Yarbrough describes the crisis in which hermeneutics finds itself, and considers the drawing of the battle lines that characterizes this crisis, in order to support a proper critical engagement. Finally, he wants to give a practical rationale for such critical engagement.
This article considers the role of women in the church and in particular the church in Philippi. Women played prominent roles in the development of this congregation that the apostle Paul commended for their partnership in the gospel (Philippians 1:5). The author seeks to explore the question of the nature of women’s “partnership in the gospel," by probing the narrative of Acts 16:12-40.
This article reviews Nathan Aviezer's book In the Beginning: Biblical Creation and Science. The book focuses on the relationship between science and the biblical creation narratives.
Thomas writes in the context of what he perceived to be a new movement toward change in understanding the exegetical and hermeneutical task. He notes a confusion and proposes to indicate a number of reasons for this confusion. He indicates new and conflicting definitions of what hermeneutics is and point out the roots of the new subjectivism and relativism.
What is discourse analysis and what is its relevance for New Testament exegesis? Reed wants to define the most important characteristics of discourse analysis based on the writings of its leading linguistic proponents, and he sets forth a research agenda for future applications of discourse analysis to the New Testament.
Should philosophy be eschewed in the church? If the church does, Moreland argues, believers will then continue to speak largely to themselves. In this essay, he aims to clarify the nature and tasks of philosophical apologetics, identify in the contemporary culture areas where the church need to focus its attention as a community, and offers some brief remarks about a strategy for the future.
Should the prolongation of biological life be continued indefinitely and should life be sustained at all costs? Should quality of life criteria be accepted over sanctity of life arguments? This essay attempts to clarify an evangelical position on the use of quality of life criteria and evaluates accusations from H. Kuse that qualified sanctity of life positions use “unarticulated and obtuse” criteria.
Poythress wants to maintain that modern gifts of the Spirit are analogous to but not identical with the gifts exercised by the apostles. He wants to maintain an exclusive divine authority of the biblical canon. These gifts are still useful to the church; therefore, he seeks a middle way between blanket approval and rejection of modern charismatic gifts.
The purpose of 1 Clement is to restore order and harmony in the church of Corinth. In addressing the conflict, Clement quotes from 1 Corinthians. This essay reflects on the relevance of the quotation from 1 Corinthians for Clement’s purpose and devotes attention to Clement’s own exhortations to the Corinthians.
What is the function of 1 Peter 1:1-2 in the composition of the letter? The essay discusses this, and also analyzes the transitional relationship between the end of verse 2 and the blessing contained in 1 Peter 1:3-12.
Racism is an important social problem. A key passage of Scripture that addresses this is Ephesians 2:11–22. God has reconciled both Jew and Gentile in the New Testament. This has a number of substantial implications in formulating a positive attitude toward race relations. This essay works out the relevance of Ephesians 2:11-22 for a Christian ethics of race.
What was the relationship between the apostle Paul and the Stoic thought of his day? DaSilva interacts with the views of B. Metzger. The study is done by examining simple verbal parallels between Paul and Stoic authors, and continued by examining more extended verbal parallels, conceptual parallels, shared use of topoi and images, shared use of formal elements such as lists of virtues and vices, and natural law.
People and actions are often presented in Proverbs in polar extremes—the wise and the foolish, the righteous and the wicked, and actions that lead to honour or shame.
In this article, the author wrestles with concepts of meaning and the divine-human authorship of Scripture. The main argument of the essay is that there may be a development of the divine meaning of an individual text of Scripture as the canon grows. However, the original meaning is never lost. He argues that God can intend more in a passage of Scripture than the human author intends. He also summarizes the changes in E. D.
This article reflects on the place and function of Christian ethics in the public square. It contrasts Christian ethics with competing ethical visions of secular views in bioethics and points out the inherent difficulty in bringing Scripture (or scriptural values) into the ethical square. It concludes with an assessment of the future of Christian values within public ethics.
This paper presents an understanding of the meaning of history in the Gospel of John. It examines the evidence for the reliability of the history in the fourth gospel, as it interacts with views of Raymond E. Brown, J. Louis Martyn and R. Alan Culpepper. It concludes that the historical material in John's gospel is reliable, trustworthy, and encourages faith.
To what does "this generation" refer in Matthew 24:34? In this article, the author proposes literary characterizations of the disciples and shows how these are keys to the interpretation of the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24:32-35.
This article analyzes the assumption that the patriarchal culture instituted in the Old Testament is a moral evil that was abolished through the coming of the fullness of redemption in Christ. This paper focuses on evangelical feminism. The author wants to understand the implications of embracing this assumption for the authority of the Bible as the infallible Word of God. His central question is whether adopting this assumption undermines scriptural authority.
It is the contention of this article that seeds of a missiology emerged early in the nineteenth century in Germany. This was necessitated by the vitality of the religious awakening known as the Erweckung. The purpose of this article is to set forth some of the impulses that led at a later date to the systematization of mission theory.
The author's concern in this article is having a good understanding of truth and the nature of truth. He reminds his readers that a biblical concept of truth is a complex of faithfulness, firmness, reliability, honesty, integrity and consistency. In the process, he gives a defence of a biblical understanding of truth against the attacks of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Smith interacts with some earlier criticisms of Richard Bauckham on the exegesis offered by Smith on the tribes of Revelation 7. For Smith, what is at stake in their discussion is whether the apostle John demonstrated literary competence, making purposeful creative use of traditional imagery and expectations to communicate a clear message.
The book of Revelation is not only a portrait of the Lamb’s triumph; it is also a prophetic exhortation for his followers to triumph in him. It is “he who overcomes” that will inherit the blessings of the Lamb’s victory (Revelation 21:7). What does it mean to “overcome”? What kind of victory does the book of Revelation have in mind for believers? Read the article for the answers.
This article notes a shift in regard to the method concerning the study of the history of Israel (historiography). Previously the tendency was toward the study of theology and literary criticism. Historians entering the discussions now concentrate on socio-economic, anthropological and historiographic issues. The works of B. Halpern, R. Coote, and D.
In this essay the author investigates a number of current influential views on secular feminist religious metaphor. Her contention is that the religious metaphors developed by secular feminists are insufficient to express the complexity of the nature of God. Existential feminists examined include Mary Daly and Emily Culpepper.
In this article, the author provides an overview of the meaning and significance of the doctrine of justification by faith and describes its function within the late twentieth century ecumenical context.
This essay first summarizes and analyzes Jonathan Edwards' arguments that the doctrine of hell and eternal damnation is consistent with the mercy and justice of God. The crux of the matter is the nature of God himself. Secondly, the author then examines Edwards' response to various objections to and reinterpretations of this doctrine.
What comprises the exegetical matrix of the Pastoral Epistles? The author writes from the conviction that the relationship between the author of these letters and this "implied audience" provides insight into the purpose of these letters. He wants to reconstruct the rhetorical setting of the Pastoral Epistles.
According to Mathewson, Luke 16:1-13 has traditionally been understood as portraying a steward who cheats his master but who is commended for his wisdom. Recent challenges to this understanding are examined, but the author's conclusion is that these alternatives are not compelling.
What is the value of the Qumran scrolls for New Testament studies? Bateman writes from the conviction that such intertestamental books are windows through which we may catch glimpses of various aspects of the world and culture into which God sent his Son. One such text is the Qumran text named Florilegium (4QFlor)3.
The main purpose of this essay is to identify and indicate a number of negative elements in the hermeneutics of Latin American theologies of liberation. Latin American liberation theologies are not unified in approach; however, they share some general hermeneutical principles.
The goal of this paper is to weigh in the light of Scripture the best arguments set forth by annihilationists, those such as John Stott who argue that we should understand the Bible literally when it speaks of the damned as "perishing" or suffering "destruction." Stott assumes that these words speak of annihilation.
Poythress believes that 2 Thessalonians 1 provides support for amillennialism. He considers separately midtribulational premillennialism, post-tribulational premillennialism, and postmillennialism and its understanding of the rapture, in the light of 2 Thessalonians 1. Poythress also provides a careful reading of 2 Thessalonians 1 in the context of first-century Thessalonica.
The rise of postmodernism has helped to regain an appreciation for the corporate dimension of the self and the influence of one's group or interpretive community on the interpretive process. This is a reaction to modernism's radical individualism and lack of emphasis on group identities. This essay wants to apply some of the postmodern emphasis to the interpretation of Romans 7.
This essay wants to demonstrate that the verb "pasah" in Exodus 12 should not be translated as "pass over" but "hover over." This image is the same as Genesis 1:2 where the metaphor is used to compare the Creator-Spirit to a bird hovering over the deep-and-darkness. Kline provides some background for the use of avian imagery for God and his angels.
This essay wrestles to reconcile the sovereignty of God with human freedom. It describes the appeal to paradox, paying particular attention to the various senses of the term. The author concludes that the appeal to paradox fails as a result of its claim that a logical reconciliation of sovereignty and human freedom is known to be impossible.
What is spirituality? In general, spirituality has become an ill-defined entity. Carson reviews some current definitions and reflects on the current use of the term, and finally define some priorities for Christians.
Can God be omnipotent and omniscient, and a human being be truly free at the same time? If human beings are free, does this not limit God's omnipotence and omniscience? Corduan makes use of Meister Eckhart, teacher at the University of Paris in the 13th century, as a guide to reflect on the God-man relationship.
What is the relationship between Christ and the cosmos? This essay considers the apostle Paul's intention when he relates Christ to the cosmos. Can we speak of the presence of a cosmic Christology? It begins with a reading of Colossians 1:15-20. Jesus Christ, through whom the whole universe was created, is the ruler and reconciler of creation.
In New Testament studies there often is a search for a non-messianic Jesus. This essay, however, suggests that the essential and distinctive characteristic of Jesus is to be found in his authority (Greek, exousia"). The author argues that "authority" as used by Mark derives from the authority of God that Jesus receives at his baptism.
Many abortion advocates cite the example of the miscarried fetus (Exodus 21:22-23) to support their claim that the fetus is not a person. Fuller argues that nevertheless this argument, its logic and implications fail in the broader legal context of the ancient Near East and the covenant code of Exodus 20-Exodus 23.
How does the church impact culture? This author wants to encourage the church to be a loving presence in society.
This essay wants to examine Leland Ryken's work in the context of recent literary approaches to hermeneutics. The author surveys Ryken's methodology together with two other literary critics, Amos Wilder and Northrop Frye. They approach the biblical text with similar assumptions about its literary nature.
Can the function of the ordained ministry be reduced to "equipping saints" for service? Ephesians 4:11-12 is often read in that way. The question is therefore whether Ephesians 4:12 teaches that the "ministry of the Church" is done by the "saints" and the only distinctive role of the officers is to equip the saints for such service. The article, through a presentation of a translation and exegesis of these verses in context, argues against such a view.
The thesis of this article is that according to Jesus' words in Matthew 24:15 and a literary analysis of the book of Daniel, the sixth-century prophet composed the book.
The author argues against the view that there is a future for Israel on the basis of an unconditional covenant with the descendants of Abraham. Pierce looks at the nature of the Abrahamic covenant, the Israelite covenant, and the Davidic covenant. The article comes to a conclusion with an examination of the new covenant model as Jeremiah presents it.
What is the church? The author wants to reflect on what he calls the "essence of the church," by which he means something more than just the functions of the church. He wants to look at the church in terms of carrying on the mission of Jesus. He develops his approach following the paradigm of the offices Jesus fulfilled while he was on earth: prophet, priest, and king. His purpose is to give a Christological understanding of the church.
Should we be positive about interreligious dialogue? Some theologians from an evangelical persuasion are very positive about the possibilities of such dialogue. This article reviews these theologians' arguments in order to see what is needed to develop such an approach to dialogue, and makes suggestions about where the question might lead to in the future.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit in the interpretation of Holy Scripture? This is a topic that is related to the contextualization of the gospel in new situations and cultures. According to Pinnock the work of the Spirit in illuminating the Scriptures is underemphasized in theological literature. He sees it as part of a proper hermeneutical theory. He offers a number of ideas to further the consideration of the topic.
Not many Bible texts refer to Jesus directly as "God." In the letters of the apostle Paul, there is a broad testimony to the deity of Christ through numerous occurrences of a God-Christ interchange.
Lewis reflects upon what he calls the new spirituality found in many Western societies and churches. It is a spirituality build on vision and experience rather than a specific doctrine or belief system. He explores its roots, meaning, and impact before comparing and contrasting it with Christian spirituality.
The author of this paper inquires whether the author of Luke-Acts expected a future national restoration of Israel. He concludes that Luke does lead his readers to expect such a restoration.
How should the lack of chronology and the many genres in Jeremiah be understood in an effort to find a unifying plot in the book? This article uses literary-critical principles to analyze Jeremiah. The author wants to exegete the book in its received order. He makes use of plot analysis to discover unifying elements. He explains what a plot is and how it functions, whether plots function in Hebrew prophecy, and then gives an overview of his understanding of Jeremiah's plot.
What is the impact of the phenomenon of modern socio-cultural pluralism on the Christian faith? In particular, this article looks at how pluralism has been used to justify recent theological proposals commonly labelled "the theology of world religions" or "pluralistic theology." These proposals suggest that Christians cannot represent the Christian faith in such a way as to exclude or even threaten the validity of other world religions.
It is not always easy to discern the will of God for our lives in diverse situations. The author of this article, however, is convinced that universal moral absolutes do exist, that God has revealed them to us, and that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the use of good hermeneutics and exegesis we can discern them.
How should we understand the use of "flesh" (Greek, sarx) and "spirit" (Greek, pneuma) in Galatians 5:1-26? Is it the description of an internal human duality in a Christian? This article wants to reconsider the widespread understanding of Paul's use of the "sarx"/"pneuma" antithesis in Galatians 5-Galatians 6.
Matthew 16:23-24 is interpreted in mainly three different ways. The purpose of the author of this article is twofold. First, he wants to identify and to understand how, through linguistic and contextual analyses, each of these traditions originated. In the second place, he wants to emphasize that Jesus was concerned with discipleship in the kingdom of heaven.
Appeal is often made to Romans 9 to explain and defend the doctrine of election. The traditional Reformed exegesis of Romans 9, however, is increasingly questioned today. Schreiner first wants to explain two of the objections to this exegesis, and then examines whether the objections are persuasive.
A prism now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, popularly known as the Sumerian King List, is held to have been compiled from as many as fifteen different texts. This King List traces the rulers of certain Sumerian cities in succession. It is of great value because it contains some very old traditions and gives an important chronological framework for the antediluvian period of the ancient Near East.
The church in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is confronted with religious pluralism. McGrath points out the attack made against the doctrines of the incarnation and the Trinity. He argues that the specific identity of God is central to the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity. The article argues the question whether it is possible to remain faithful to the Christian faith and engage positively with the challenge of pluralism.
An important theme in the Gospel of John is that of God sending Jesus on a special mission. In this article, the author wants to show how "sending" is integrated into the total theology of John. He further applies it to solve a theological problem of John.
The concern of this article is to explore in detail the design of Haggai. It is done in terms of a careful analysis of the accent tradition of the Hebrew text as preserved by the Masoretes.
Churches are faced with the reality of pluralism. While the basic phenomenon is not new, the intellectual response to it is: the suggestion that plurality of beliefs is theoretically justified. The first casualty of the pluralist agenda is truth. McGrath's approach is to articulate some of the central presuppositions and methods of a pluralist ideology and intellectual pluralism.
In this essay, the author wants to demonstrate that the crucial role of hermeneutics is not to be denied when passages are considered in reflecting on women in office. However, the author argues that the current discussion appears to be vexed frequently by an assumed but perhaps faulty exegesis of the relevant biblical texts. He uses as an illustration of this point 1 Timothy 2:8-15.
In this article Harvey makes a distinction between the "with Christ" and "in Christ" motifs as used by the apostle Paul. In studies when the "with Christ" concept is addressed, it is frequently associated with Paul's eschatology. This essay wants to examine the available data and reach some conclusions about how Paul uses the phrase.
It is the conviction of the author that the purpose of the story in 2 Samuel 6 can only be appreciated when the full force of the stylistic details are noted. This article offers such a close reading of this chapter.
Jaques Ellul became a national figure whose name and views are widely cited. This article wants to give a summary of the multiple facets of politics as viewed by Ellul. The author touches on his relevant definitions, his views on the state and politics, his treatment of politics in the Bible and the church, and his stance concerning Marxism and anarchism.
In this article, the author gives a critical evaluation of what he calls Ellulism—the theology and politics of Jacques Ellul. The focus of this article is to bring into view what the author views as flaws through an exposure of its exegetical shortcomings, and to reveal its political and philosophical inadequacies by tracing its ideological roots back to their source.
What form or method of interpretation is to be preferred above the next? Numerous frameworks have been used to interpret Scripture. We need to understand all the approaches that have been used so that we can make an informed choice. This article reflects on the metaphysics of these choices made in biblical studies and hermeneutics.
Does the gift of prophecy continue after the apostolic period? The interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:10 plays a significant role in this discussion. This author compares Richard Gaffin's and Wayne Grudem's interpretations of this verse, and hopes to expose an oversight of Grudem. He considers their interpretations of the coming of "the perfect."
This article functions against the background of the so-called Lordship salvation debate among evangelicals in the USA. Blomberg argues that the New Testament nowhere supports the notion that believers will be distinguished one from another for all eternity on the basis of their works as Christians.
This article analyzes the book of Zechariah with respect to its literary unity. Continuity between the two major sections of the book is reflected upon. Next, major themes are traced to determine their development and/or modification.
How does Jurgen Moltmann understand the resurrection of man and the resurrection of Jesus Christ in particular? His use of the word "resurrection" diverges significantly from the common understanding of the term. The social character of Moltmann's use of this symbol is vital to a proper understanding of his contribution.
This essay is a re-examination of the popular doctrine that animals did not die before the fall of man and man was immortal. Some views of interpreters past and present are discussed. Munday, after examining the properties of man, animals and the universe both before and after the fall, concludes that Scripture does not demand the absence of animal death before the fall.
We do not find the expression "kingdom of God" in the Old Testament. The sovereign rule of God, however, is affirmed in various ways throughout the Old Testament. The royal rule of God is expressed in the kingdom of heaven. This essay reflects on how the presence of the kingdom functioned in the teaching of Jesus Christ and the future expectation of the kingdom in the return of Christ.
The themes of creation and redemption have always been of great importance in Christian theology. This essay wants to discuss the relationship and contrast between the old and new creation. A passage often used to contrast the old with the new is Galatians 3:28. This study seeks to determine how the two are related in this passage.
This essay wrestles with the applicability of the Law of Moses to the New Testament church. Can we make a distinction between the Ten Commandments and laws on the liturgical aspects of the life of Israel? The essay emphasizes the contextual nature of the Mosaic Law and its function in that particular redemptive-historical context. The distinction often made between some of the laws as "moral" and others not, is rejected as methodologically objectionable.
How was Genesis 3:15 interpreted throughout history? Does this verse contain a promise or does it actually form part of the curse on the serpent? Lewis gives an overview of the history of exegesis of this passage starting with the Scriptures, early Jewish writers, and the early church fathers, and continues until the Reformation and modern commentaries.
This article wants to contribute to a better understanding of the historical context of B.B. Warfield, who was a very important Reformed theologian. His contribution to Old Princeton theology is put in the spotlight as the article gives a short biographical introduction to Warfield and his relevance for today's church.
It seems as if Zechariah 6:9-15 forms a distinct section in the structure of the book. Kline addresses the question of the precise role of this passage in the structure of the book and this takes him to make a proposal on the overall structure of Zechariah.
Arguments for or against homosexuality often are based on the translation of specific passages in the Old Testament.
Did Jesus descend into hell like the Apostles' Creed confesses? Grudem argues against this article, and considers the phrase as one that was later introduced into the creed. The article considers the origin of the phrase "he descended into hell" and possible biblical support for the confession in passages like Acts 2:27, Ephesians 4:8-9, Romans 10:6-7, and 1 Peter 3:18-20.
Is there a distinct role of women in church and society, according to Scripture? The main focus of this study is the distinction between female status and function when considering gender roles. The author considers whether the apostle Paul made any distinction between spiritual status and function in the church. The status of Gentiles in the church is used as a paradigm for comparison.
What is the significance of the baptism of Jesus according to the Gospels? Mark 1:9-11 relates the baptism of Jesus. Edwards considers the significance and function of this baptism in Mark. The baptism is related to the coming of the kingdom of heaven. Edwards further works out the significance of Jesus' baptism for our understanding of him as Son of God.
Old Testament prophets often refer to God's deeds in the past. New situations and circumstances demanded new applications of older traditions. Studies of the prophets often notice these continuities and discontinuities with the previous tradition. This essay takes note of continuity and discontinuity in the prophet Amos' use of tradition.
This essay considers the intent of redaction criticism in the book of Psalms, and in particular the first three books of the Psalter. How important is the agenda of the editor of the Psalter and what are the principles that govern the arrangement of the Psalms within the book as a whole? Walton evaluates the contribution of Gerald Wilson.
Quantum theory and the "new physics" provide a new framework within which we understand creation. This essay wants to give some basic understanding of the development and assumptions of quantum physics. The philosophy of science has also been influenced by the new theory of knowledge of quantum physics.
What is the relationship between the theology of the Reformation and Post-Reformation Reformed Theology? Did the scholastic methodology of the post-Reformation period change the content of the Reformation theology? Richard Muller argues that they are in essential agreement. The agreement lies primarily in the christological focus.
It is important to acknowledge the literary features of Scripture for a good understanding. This article argues that too often biblical scholarship has ignored its literary character in exegesis. The authors want to illustrate how consideration of the literary character of a book can solve difficult exegetical problems, and illustrate this from their exegesis of Nahum.
What is the purpose of Acts? House gives a short survey of the approaches to the purpose of Acts, which helps us to see a number of main motifs of the book. The article wants to link the historical and theological aspects of the book. Five different functions of suffering and persecution in Acts are discussed.
This article considers the different aspects informing the Christian view on abortion. She first draws attention to how we view man. Is man valued in his relationship with God or can man be understood only in terms of his personal experience? She further reflects on views in the early church on abortion.
Why is Jesus contrasted with the angels in such strong language in the epistle to the Hebrews? How was the identity and role of angels understood in late Judaism? The angelology of sectarian Judaism is discussed. Exegesis of Hebrews 1:5-14 supplies insight into the contrast between the birthright of the Son of God and the angels.
How does the epistle of James portray faith? What is the relation between faith and works in the believer's justification and sanctification? This short response wants to answer these questions as it represents a response to what became known as the "lordship salvation" question and in particular, the way it is expressed by John F. MacArthur.
What was the place and understanding of the Lord's Supper in the early church? How can a recovery of the early church's practice of the Eucharist help us to live in Christ in a more profound way? How is the grace of God mediated to us through the celebration of the Lord's Supper? These questions are reflected upon in relation to the developments in the Eucharist during the Middle Ages and the Reformation.
This paper is a response to the pro-choice position on abortion. The paper addresses a number of popular arguments, evaluates some philosophical and theological arguments, and concerns itself with public policy with respect to abortion on demand.
This paper presents an interpretation of John 10:34-36. The main interpretative issue focus on the meaning of "you are gods."
How important is the study and knowledge of biblical Greek and Hebrew in theological education? The purpose of this paper is to foster a discussion on the place of the biblical languages in the curricula of seminaries and also to emphasize the importance of retaining the languages as part of theological training.
Christensen argues that an analysis of the prosodic rhythm of the book of Nahum reveals a lot about its theological message.
How does the Bible function in Christian ethics? The essay surveys a number of different theories and approaches and tries to indicate what it means to take seriously the whole testimony of the Bible and matters of hermeneutics. Porter explores the possible use of Wittgenstein's "classes of utterances" for a better understanding of the use of Scripture in ethics.
What was the teaching of Nestorius or what came to be known as Nestorianism? Nestorius separated the human and divine in Jesus Christ so as to make of him two separate persons. This essay re-evaluates this position in the light of 20th century research and within the Christological controversies of that time.
This article explains the function of the wordplay and use of dialect in Amos 8:1-2.
To whom are the words spoken in Song of Songs 8:12? This article is an exegetical analysis of this verse.
What is the linguistic and conceptual background of Colossians 1:12-14? The purpose of this text is examined in this article.
How did the New Testament use the Old Testament? The paper defends what its author calls a kerygmatic approach to the understanding of the New Testament's use of the Old Testament. The dominant factor is the proclamation of the gospel.
What is the canonical approach to the study of the Old Testament? The paper wants to apply this approach to the hermeneutical problem of prophecy and fulfillment, which Sailhamer sees as a question of the relationship between the Old and New Testament. The canonical approach takes the final shape of the Old Testament seriously.