I recently had the opportunity to compile a large list of sources for NT Theology. This is merely preliminary and will continue to add to this list as I find more sources. The list was long enough to prove useful so I decided to put this up. Please make use of this for your collection or to gain familiarity with the discipline.
Compiling a list like this, for obvious reasons, is very difficult. It’s difficult to determine the varying categories, it’s difficult to have your eyes on all or even the majority of the resources. If you find any glaring absences or have any suggestions, by all means, leave a comment below or e-mail me and I’ll gladly add to this preliminary list. Continue reading
In the myriads of current biblical theologies, some have focused on whole Bible theologies whereas others have only focused on authorial biblical theologies (i.e., Pauline Theology, Petrine Theology, Johannine Theology, etc.). Ambrose of Milan, a Late 4th century Western Father, provides an intriguing word to the inter-relationship of authorial thought. Especially in modern Pauline theologies, how many incorporate Hebrews into the worldview of Pauline thought? Not many, if at all.
There are few Ancient Homilies on Hebrews. Origen has the earliest known homily, though non-extant. Current researchers are familiar with it because Eusebius mentions the homily in Ecclesiastical History. In our Modern/Post-Modern era, Hebrews 6:4–6 continues to provide exegetes and Bible readers trouble. The same was in early Christendom as well. Even the Ancient Homilies and comments on Hebrews 6:4–6 prove troubling to early interpreters.
I’ve read commentaries, I’ve studied with different types of commentaries, I’ve recommended commentaries, and they all typically come with caveats. Unfortunately with each commentary recommendation, I have to follow up with other recommended sources to make up for deficiencies.
I express deep thanks to the men and women at Logos Bible Software for giving me the opportunity to review William Varner’s James Commentary in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary.
Without any reservation, I recommend Varner’s commentary. He has provided a healthy balance of text-critical notes and grammatical analysis with biblical theology. He has provided a quality Evangelical argument to the greater Jacobean scholarly world.
William Varner, James, ECC (Review)
I am aiming to publish this article. Therefore, I’ve taken the majority of this article down. If you read this entry, keep in mind it may “sound” choppy due to eliminating the majority of my argument. I am wanting to maintain my introduction and conclusions for multiple reasons. First, I’d like to whet the appetite of those engaging eschatological language, persecution, and biblical theology. Second, for those desiring to pursue kingdom of God studies or sources for the Thessalonian epistles, I’ve maintained by bibliography to assist those researching. Finally, I desire readership and limiting the paper to the introduction and conclusion makes readership more feasible.
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Introduction: The Need for Changing Eschatological Language
Some elements of the future eschaton are making headway into the present era. Evaluating modern consensus, eschatology reveals hermeneutical and theological presuppositions in attempting to describe the already/not-yet tension. Problematic to the discussion resides in determining what elements are future and what elements are present. Are some elements fulfilled now, implying no substantial change/modification will happen later? Furthermore, if nascent elements appear now, is there progressive development throughout the present era, if any?
Jörg Frey provides a helpful overview of the historical development of eschatological language. The landscape of scholarship demonstrates eschatological doctrine, but Philipp Heinrich Friedlieb, a classical Lutheran dogmatician, introduces “Eschatology” to designate the “last things”. In 1644, he published a work with Eschatologia as part of a book title. This title was first used as a systematic description of “death, the resurrection of the dead, the last judgment, the end or dissolution of the world, about hell or eternal death, and finally, about eternal life.” By strictly limiting few future-referent elements to this title, it is no wonder the subsequent history of eschatological interpretation has vacillated; it is difficult to include all necessary theological categories under the single umbrella “eschatology.”
An exegetical method places high demands on the biblical interpreter and invokes a mastery of skills outside himself. Careful attention to grammar, skill within textual criticism, ability to observe the greater whole of biblical theology, etc. beckon the attention of the exegete. The dexterous skill of grammatical and textual expertise must be matched with an artistic ability to encapsulate the overarching biblical description.
Our kind friends at Logos Bible Software have provided me the opportunity to review James in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary, written by William Varner. When using commentaries, I tend to have a love/hate relationship with them. Some do not provide answers to the questions I am asking, others critically interact with the grammar but neglect to provide a theological synthesis, while others focus on a theological overview and minimize technical detail. It thrills me to interact critically with this commentary for multiple reasons. Suffice to say, this commentary, whether or not I agree with the interpretations, the theological positions, or argumentation, mimics my exegetical method.
William Varner provides an excellent model of exegesis in his James commentary. He supplies a translation of the text, pertinent text-critical decisions, an exegetical outline, clausal diagraming, careful attention to grammar and the message of James, a biblical theology of James and its relationship to the theology of the Bible, practical implications, and a bibliography for further analysis. Stay tuned for this book review; I anticipate a fruitful review.
Here is my book review
Theological continuity between the testaments will no doubt create a close relationship between the Church and Israel. Viewing a “big-picture” theological portrait of the testaments, will provide a close relationship between the Church and Israel. I want to propose a continuity of a few theological thoughts that appear early in the OT and frequently reappear in the OT and NT undergoing various modifications. I don’t have another framework to think through, other than “theological modes”. That is, a theological thought will use a vehicle to communicate theology and this theological thought will frequently reappear throughout the testaments but with varying vehicles of communications.
Take for example the “vehicle” of Eden. Eden is viewed as the initial dwelling place of God; Beale, in The Temple and the Mission of the Church, views Eden as the first temple. However, throughout Isaiah and Ezekiel, Eden is subsequently viewed as a place of refreshment for the people of God in Exile as a land far off. Yet it will be the renewed created order (heavens and earth) in the remote future that will provide the fullest expression of Eden-like realities (God’s dwelling place, trees of healing, endless rivers, etc.). Though not fully explained in this small paragraph, Eden initially, as a physical place, also serves as a vehicle of sinless life and possibly an initial temple; the mode changed to refer to a land that would provide refreshment to those in Exile and final culmination with the New Heavens and New Earth.