Michael Haykin successfully serves as a Patristic evangelist, convincing modern readers to take special interest in the early church fathers. Rediscovering the Church Fathersengages a brief sampling of various types of Fathers and highlights their literature and value to early church studies.
This book comes highly recommended for anyone remotely interested in the Church Fathers.
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.” (Please wait until the book review is complete for a fuller analysis of her thesis). Continue reading →
The Early Text of the New Testament, edited by Charles Hill and Michael Kruger, as I have said previously, is going to be a textual source of extreme value. In “‘Catholicity’ in Early Gospel Manuscripts”, Scott Charlesworth’s tentative textual conclusions matched with early patristic writings provide, with high probability, early (i.e. up to third/forth century) textual and historical evidence of circulating orthodox Gospel codices for public and private use.
This chapter by Charlesworth has provided a shift and confirmation in some of my thinking about early canonization of the Gospels. “Scribal conventions,” Charlesworth concludes, “in second- and second/third-century gospel papyri are indicative of ‘catholic’ collaboration and consensus, presumably among the ‘orthodox’ [Gospels].”