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The Latest in Biblical Theology Bulletin

The most recent edition of Biblical Theology Bulletin 46.3 (2016) has been published. The articles includes two from my friends James Crossley and Sarah Rollens.

It includes my friend Chris Skinner’s review of The Gospel of the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century. I am pleased with his accurate summary and positive assessment of my book. His constructive criticisms are fair. I appreciate my editors’ hard work and any grammatical errors are my fault. Chris is less sure of my use of “centrist Christians” to describe the victorious party over other Christian factions (e.g. Ebionite, Marcionite, Valentinian), but I was looking for a term that avoided theological judgments (e.g. orthodoxy & heresy) and could be a neutral social description and I am happy to keep looking for an appropriate label. I admit to being the guilty party citing blogs in Chris Skinner’s blog post! 🙂 I would reply that it is necessary to give credit even to online sources than risk plagiarism (note: some discussions such as the alleged first century fragment of Mark were only happening online), that I am a scholar who can distinguish scholarly from layperson blogs, and I did not extensively critique any single blog post as I am aware that it is a more informal medium than a peer-reviewed publication. Thanks again Chris!

Finally, my review of Sonya Shetty Cronin’s Raymond Brown, ‘The Jews,’ and the Gospel of John: From Apologia to Apology has been published. Brown was a pre-eminent 20th century scholar of John’s Gospel and, along with J. Louis Martyn, had a major influence on reading the Gospel through the lens of the excommunication of Christ followers from the synagogue. Cronin’s study examines how Brown became increasingly nuanced and sensitive regarding John’s historical situation and literary representation of “the Jews” (hoi Ioudaioi) due to personal circumstances in his life and official Catholic statements in light of the history of Christian anti-Semitism. The one piece of constructive feedback I offered was to situate Brown’s work not only in the context of ecclesiastical developments, but also wider historical developments examined by J. Z. Smith, William Arnal, and James Crossley that impacted modern Christian scholarship on Second Temple Judaism. She has written a fine study on the Fourth Gospel’s reception history.


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