In the Spring 2014 volume of Novum Testamentum, Steven Runge published an article entitled “Contrastive Substitution and the Greek Verb.” My good friend, Brian Renshaw (NT Exegesis), and I have had extensive conversations on the Greek language and the status quaestionis of verbal aspect. So, upon reading this recent article, we have decided to blog through it in order to highlight its arguments.
We have been influenced by Runge’s Discourse Grammar and other articles (find here), and we find his theoretical framework not only highly valuable, but extremely convincing. Therefore, this series not only provides us a way to write and think through his argument, but also to help others in their struggle with verbal aspect discussions.
Dunn, J.D.G. “A New Perspective on the New Perspective on Paul.” Early Christianity 4, no. 2 (2013): 157–82.
J.D.G. Dunn provides a helpful clarification on the scope and intent of the New Perspective on Paul. In his words, he is providing a new and fresh ‘perspective’ on the New Perspective movement, a term he coined in 1982.
The predominant critique of traditional views on the NPP corresponds to changing language about justification, different portraits of Judaism, the role of judgment and works, and others. However, Dunn clarifies, from his viewpoint, the difference is not merely due to one position being “right” and the other “wrong”. So, it is not that NP is “right” and the traditional view is “wrong”, or the NP is wholly antithetical to the traditional view.
Last year I was able to participate in a book project and wrote some portions of Patrick of Ireland: His Life and Impact with Michael Haykin and Aaron Matherly (Amazon). This new book is the first of many in a new series: Early Church Fathers series (more info here). These books will be of value to any churchmen, pastor, or undergraduate seeking to gain familiarity on early church fathers, their literature, and personal piety.
Patrick is not only a man of courage, exemplar in piety, but a great example to the modern person! Though scholarship is divided, he leaves us with two works (Confessions and Letter to Soldiers of Coroticus; original language). They are simple to read and would highly encourage anyone to read through them in order to gain familiarity with Patrick.
I recently came across a quote by Ellen Charry in By the Renewing of your Minds:The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine. I resonate deeply with this quote. Teaching can stifle the mind, yet hopefully it will enliven the imagination. Teaching can promulgate error prone ideas, yet hopefully it will encourage to seek out truth and ideas beyond the classroom. My goals as an educator is to do both: enliven the mind as well as teach my students beyond the classroom.
Charry’s quote…well, I can’t help but say “yes!” A resounding “Yes!” that is.