My Review of an Introductory Textbook on the Gospels

The latest edition of the Australian Biblical Review (Vol. 66, 2018) has been published. My review of Warren Carter’s Telling Tales about Jesus: An Introduction to the New Testament Gospels has also been posted in it. I hope that my review has provided a good summary of the book’s contents for lecturers who might be exploring possible textbooks to use for an introductory unit on the Gospels.


The 2018 September Biblical Studies Carnival has been Posted

Jim West has posted the 2018 September Biblical Studies Carnival. It has included several blog posts that I missed this month and maintains the carnival theme throughout. Enjoy.

Open Day at Vose Seminary

Are you interested in studying the Bible in more depth, learning how to develop a Christian worldview (e.g., philosophy, ethics, apologetics), training for various forms of ministry or missions work, or joining a wonderful Christian community of staff and students? I would recommend that you check out the “Open Day” for Vose Seminary on Saturday, October 6 and find out more about us. This will be a fun event for the whole family. I am the New Testament lecturer and Dean of Student Life here and you can feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Christopher Wright is Visiting Vose Seminary

On Wednesday, September 19, Vose Seminary will be hosting Dr. Christopher J. H. Wright, an internationally renowned expert on the Hebrew Bible and Christian Missiology, from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm with a catered lunch to follow. Here is the link to a Morning with Dr. Christopher Wright on the Vose Seminary website, and here is the link to purchase your tickets on trybooking. If you happen to be in Perth on this date, I hope to see you there!

August 2018 Biblical Studies Carnival

Kevin Turner has posted the latest biblical studies carnival for the month of August 2018 at his blog Monday Morning Theologian. Enjoy.

Semester Plans

I have an incredibly busy semester. I will be teaching four units: an introductory New Testament class on Acts to Revelation, the epistle to the Hebrews, the General Epistles, and an introduction to New Testament Greek. I am also involved in planning student activities and chapels, supervising student projects and co-supervising a few PhDs, and working on other administrative and publishing tasks. Thus, I will probably only be able to post sporadically on the blog over the next three months and may try to highlight other interesting posts around the blogosphere than work on any new blog series. I will be back to full-time blogging before the end of 2018… 😀

July 2018 Biblioblog Carnival

The latest Biblical Studies Carnival for the month of July 2018 has been posted by Karen R. Keen. She lists a ton of posts under the following categories:

  • Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • Early Jewish Texts (extra-Biblical)
  • New Testament
  • Bible and Culture
  • Manuscripts/Textual Criticism (General)
  • Pedagogy
  • Book Reviews
  • Announcements
  • Bonus: List of Women Scholar Bloggers

Enjoy the carnival!

Primary Jewish and Christian Sources Online

We concluded the posts this month with a look at a few “apocryphal” Gospels. The word connotes writings that are “secret” or “hidden”, but there is no reason why these texts should be hidden from the person in the pews any longer. As I work from within a particular Christian framework, none of these writings hold any theological authority on par with the canonical Jewish and Christian Scriptures for me. However, they are invaluable historical documents that fill out the historical and social contexts and the kind of traditions, beliefs, and practices that various groups across the Judeo-Christian spectrum were engaging, often in dialogue and debate with each other and with other groups in the larger Graeco-Roman world. Christian writers in the first few centuries did not yet know what would ultimately be decided as canonical and continued to write to either learn more about Jesus (e.g. the circumstances of his heavenly pre-existence, birth, childhood, ministry, passion, or post-ascension existence) or to interpret the person and message of Jesus through a particular theological lens, only some of which were finally judged to be theologically “orthodox” (e.g., the debate between the Gospels that presented Jesus as a dying Saviour versus as a dispenser of esoteric and revelatory knowledge). If you go to the tab “Academic Resources (External),” you can look up “primary sources” and read up some of the unofficial translations of them online. Official editions of texts may be found in the nearest academic library.

Lost Sources that We Wish We Had

A long time ago, there was a meme circulating among the biblioblogs about lost ancient sources that we wish we could recover, but I could not find some of these older posts when I typed this into a google search. I wonder what would be on your list (also note that I am not presuming any of these hypothetical sources exist but it would certainly shed some light if we discovered some source like them):

  • J, E, D, and P or whatever lost sources underlie the Pentateuch?
  • Q, M, L, other collections (sayings, pronouncement stories, miracles), signs source, passion narrative, the Logos hymn, proto-Gospels, or whatever sources underlie our New Testament Gospels?
  • Lost Gospels such as the Gospel according to the Hebrews.
  • Lost Epistles such as Paul’s “letter of tears” to the Corinthians or his letter to the Laodiceans.
  • Lost Patristic sources such as the Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord by Papias of Hierapolis.

If we were to discover these sources, I wonder what scholarly theories they would disprove or force us to heavily revise? And what new scholarly theories would they encourage us to develop?

David B. Sloan on the “Gospel according to the Hebrews”

I offered an overview of the major theories surrounding the Patristic and Medieval Christian comments on the so-called Gospel according to the Hebrews. In the debate over whether there was one, two, three, or more Jewish Christian Gospels, I support the two Gospel hypothesis (i.e. the Gospel according to the Hebrews and a Gospel known to Epiphanius). On the other hand, David B. Sloan has a website dedicating to reconstructing Q, a hypothetical common source to Matthew and Luke, and argues for the identification of Q with the Gospel according to the Hebrews (see especially his conference paper). Thus, he not only argues that there was only one Gospel that was known to our various Patristic authors (Clement, Origen, Didymus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, Jerome, etc.), but also that it was a very early source that informed the Synoptic tradition. Check out his arguments and see what you think.