François Bovon on the Sermon on the Plain

In his 2002 Hermeneia commentary, François Bovon pauses to offer reflective comments on the beatitudes and woes in Luke 6:20–26. He recognizes his current position of privilege and feels the present tension of the message of Jesus. Prior to his … Continue reading

David Crump “Encountering Jesus, Encountering Scripture”

EJESDavid Crump.

Encountering Jesus, Encountering Scripture: Reading the Bible Critically in Faith.

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing, 2013. Pp. x + 145. ISBN: 978-0-8028-6466-6. $20.00 [Paperback].

The Epistle to the Hebrews presents a multi-layered christocentric form of divine revelation. Finding some parallel to the Johannine Logos, Heb 1:1–4 presents the speaking acts of God manifested in a person, the Son of God. That is, God speaks simultaneously through the prophets of old and through his Son. This Word—Jesus, that is—must be kept and heeded carefully (Heb 2:1). It is this “W/word” that created the universe (Heb 11:3; cf. Gen 1:3). With Hebrews presenting a Word-Christology, or a divine christocentric revelation, what must the interpreter do with Heb 4:12–13? The “Word” is living and active. So then, when we hear from God, we are confronted with the presence of Jesus and vice-versa. When we encounter Jesus, we are confronted with the words of God.

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Chris Keith, Jesus Against the Scribal Elite, and Historical Jesus Scholarship

Chris Keith (blog; teaching post) is a writing machine and he is asking very insightful question in Historical Jesus Scholarship. Each year I ask, what is coming out this year by Keith? His texts are, for historical Jesus scholarship, ones that need to be frequently referenced for he is slowly influencing a field prime for change.

Here are group of videos Baker Academic Press posted about his new book Jesus Against the Scribal Elite (see here). This brief video will hopefully give you glimpse at the question he is asking and how it is a unique question. Continue reading

Initial Thoughts on Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity

I’m currently reviewing Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity edited by Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne. Thus far, I have been thoroughly impressed by their clear call to revisit and possibly jettison traditional criteria all the while making cogent, informed, and careful argumentation. This book is a compilation of multiple authors involved in Gospel and Historical Jesus related studies.

I have been studying Historical Jesus research for some time now (even my careless, ad hominem, atrociously edited thesis was on the overall movement). So, for the past number of years I’ve had an interest in Historical Jesus research and have tried keeping up on the plethora of sources. How Keith and Le Donne’s book escaped my attention, I have no idea!

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Mark as a Literary and Theological Document: Mark 3:22–30 test case

I’m currently reviewing Elizabeth Shively’s Apocalyptic Imagination in the Gospel of Mark, and have been impressed with a number of her hermeneutical abilities and presuppositions.  Her clarity in thought is exemplary as tension and anticipation await each turn of the page.

One beneficial aspect of her project is her “close reading” of the text. As she analyzes Mark 3:22–30 (Beelzebul pericope), she utilizes narrative critical tools. Unlike other Markan resources, Shively demonstrates how this pericope is a “first of firsts.” This is the first lengthy discourse in the Gospel by Jesus. This is the first time Jesus is said to be speaking in parables. This is the first solemn declaration being introduced with ἀμήν. Moreover through an historical reading, Mark places this pericope in different place in his Gospel, distinct from Matthew’s and Luke’s placement. Mark exclusively identifies this discourse as a παραβολή. Finally, Mark places this parable at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, unlike Matthew or Luke. With this empirical data, Shively concludes Mark 3:22–30 demonstrates the “program for the whole Gospel. Specifically, Mark 3:22–30 constructs a symbolic world that shapes the literary and theological logic of the rest of the narrative.”[1] (Please wait until the book review is complete for a fuller analysis of her thesis).
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