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Monthly Archives: October 2019

My Colleague’s New Book “The Spirit at the Cross”

My colleague Dr. Carolyn E. L. Tan is an exceptional instructor in New Testament Greek. She has also published her revised PhD thesis entitled The Spirit at the Cross: Exploring a Cruciform Pneumatology for the Australian College of Theology Monograph Series. Her PhD advisor and my theological colleague Dr. Michael O’Neil has also noted the many strengths of this book as it engages with both New Testament exegesis and systematic theology. Here is the abstract if you are interested in checking out the book:

What was the Holy Spirit doing at the cross of Jesus Christ? Jesus’ death and resurrection are central to God’s reconciliation with humanity. Does the Holy Spirit’s work pause between Gethsemane and the resurrection? What does the phrase “through the eternal Spirit” in Hebrews 9:14 mean? In this book, Tan examines the perspectives of John Vernon Taylor, Jürgen Moltmann, and John D. Zizioulas, from whom three views of the Spirit’s role at the cross are discerned: the Spirit as the “bond of love” between the Father and the Son; the Spirit as the Son’s coworker, enabler, and power; and the Spirit as the unifier who unites humanity to the Son. In addition, Karl Barth provides the intriguing concept of the Spirit as divine Judge (along with the Father and the Son) and specifically the one who carries out God’s judgment in Jesus Christ, the Elect. Integrating these theological perspectives with an in-depth examination of the manuscript and exegetical and hermeneutical history of Hebrews 9:14, Tan offers another way of understanding the role of the Spirit at the cross: Christ as the Father’s “pneumatic crucible” in whom sinful humanity is judged, destroyed, and reborn through the power of the Holy Spirit.



New Review of my Book “The Beloved Apostle?”

I am grateful for the following review of my book The Beloved Apostle: The Transformation of the Apostle John into the Fourth Evangelist by Kory Eastvold in the Stone-Campbell Journal 21.2 (2018): 312-313. He provides an excellent summary of the chapters and I would like to quote his concluding paragraph on page 313:

This volume treats the evidence from the NT and tradition evenly, tracing a coherent development from the fourth Gospel’s anonymity to its traditional identification. He demonstrates mastery of the pertinent secondary material but does not depend on others for his own conclusions. Kok could have given more space to the first three chapters and shortened his discussion of hermeneutics and canonicity relegating it to the conclusion. Although this book surveys relevant scholarship, introduces the primary evidence, and transcribes all Greek words for non-specialists, the arguments are unavoidably complex and assume some familiarity with higher criticism. This book would serve well as a case study for a seminary course on the canon, but it will be useful primarily to Johannine scholars.

For closely related work, I have written on the identity of the “Elder John” for an article for the online journal Bible and Interpretation and another article on Cerinthus, the opponent of saint John, for an article for the Journal of Early Christian History.

Gospels & Acts Research Conference and Journal

I just attended the conference put on by the Centre for Gospels & Acts Research (CGAR) entitled “The Future of Gospels & Acts Research: Discerning the Trends” at the Sydney College of Divinity on Thursday, October 3 and Friday, October 4. The keynote speakers were Professors Craig Keener and Dorothy Lee, and there were a number of other papers from scholars and students on their research on the New Testament Gospels and Acts. The goal is that some of the papers will be published in an edited volume. CGAR has also established the new Journal of Gospels and Acts Research. Check out the link if you want more information about the purpose of the journal, the members of the editorial board, the contents of the previous volumes, and the guidelines for contributors.