§1: the evangelist as interpreter of Scripture;The first chapter, entitled "The Gospel of Mark: Herald of Mystery," filters the shortest Gospel through these five sections. The first section ("'Take Heed What You Hear': Mark as Interpreter of Scripture") is less than one page long, which I find unfortunate. Even in this too-short discussion, however, Hays makes a critical point: Mark, who "rarely points explicitly to correspondences between Israel's Scripture and the story of Jesus" (p. 15), nevertheless exhibits a "deft but allusive use of Scripture" that "repeatedly gesture[s] toward wider contexts and implications that remain not quite overtly stated" (p. 16). This claim will be fleshed out in the ensuing discussion.
§2: the evangelist's use of Scripture to interpret and re-narrate the story of Israel;
§3: the evangelist's use of Scripture to interpret and narrate the story of Jesus;
§4: the evangelist's use of Scripture to shape and orient the story of the church;
§5: a summary discussion of the evangelist's distinctive hermeneutic.
[T]o read Jesus' cry from the cross in Mark 15:34 as an intertextual evocation of Psalm 22's promise of hope is not simply an exegetical cop-out, a failure of nerve that refuses to accept Mark's bleak portrait of Jesus' death at face value. Rather, it is a reading strategy that Mark himself has taught us through his repeated allusive references to snatches of Scripture that point beyond themselves to their own original narrative settings and lead the reader to reevaluate the surface sense of the Jesus story. (85; italics in the original)I am completely sympathetic to this reading of Mark's resonance with Scripture; it would be peculiar even in Mark's account of the death of the son of God if Mark, after the three-fold prediction of Jesus' passion and resurrection (see Holly Carey, Jesus' Cry from the Cross, LNTS 398 [T&T Clark, 2009]), recounted Jesus' use of Psalm 22's first verse and didn't intend his readers to recall the psalmist's ultimate confidence in God's abiding presence. This section, 40+ pages in length, provides much that is helpful for thinking about Mark's use of Scripture in its portrayal of Jesus. Even so, there are weaknesses. For example, Hays presses his otherwise interesting discussion of the allusion to Job 9.8 LXX ("who alone stretched out heaven and walks upon the sea as upon dry ground") in Mark's account of Jesus walking on the sea in 6:45–52. Job 9 also uses the verb "pass by" (παρελθεῖν) in its praise of the One who walks upon the sea (see Job 9.11), which Hays links to the strange detail recounted in Mark 6:48: "Jesus comes to them [the disciples], walking upon the sea, and he wanted to pass them by" (ἤθελεν παρελθεῖν αὐτούς). So far so good. But then goes on: "To these observations should be added the insight that the verb παρελθεῖν almost surely alludes to Exodus 33:17–23 and 34:6, where God is said to 'pass by' Moses in order to reveal his glory indirectly" (72). This, however, seems an allusion plucked out of thin air, based on a single word—παρελθεῖν, "to pass by"—that occurs well over 100 times in the LXX and whose details do not fit the Markan text (except inasmuch as Hays wants to find Mark portraying Jesus as the God of Israel): Moses asks to see God; the disciples ask nothing of Jesus. Moses is bold in his request; the disciples cry out in terror. God places Moses in the cleft of a rock; the disciples are in a boat on the sea in a storm. While many (perhaps even most) of the allusions Hays identifies and explains are compelling or at least plausible, more than once he extends himself too far and imagines echoes where, to my ear at least, there is only silence.
ATLA is an equal opportunity employer located in downtown Chicago. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. ATLA offers an excellent benefits package.
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The American Theological Library Association (ATLA) is seeking a Metadata Analyst to support content enrichment of scholarly material in the area of religious and theological studies. Your current focus is the completion of enhanced indexing for journal content. You will be joining a team dedicated to providing the leading research tools supporting access to scholarly resources. For this role, you’ll need a master’s degree, MDiv, or at least two (2) years of graduate study in religious studies, theology, or a closely related field.
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We’re looking for an enthusiastic person to take on the head of circulation role in River Grove, a west suburban town of about 10,000. The supervisor is responsible for the smooth operation of the circulation department, scheduling staff, running reports, and ordering materials. In addition, the head of circulation acts as a backup to the adult services coordinator, fills in on the circulation desk, and then there’s the all-encompassing “other duties as assigned.”
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The Indian Trails Public Library District (ITPLD) is seeking a part-time (21 hours per week) Adult Services Assistant with a positive demeanor and a customer centric focus to join our team.
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The Zion-Benton Public seeks a dynamic individual with a passion for libraries, technology, and the people who use them to join our Adult Services team. Applicants must pride themselves on providing gracious, friendly, and responsive services to people of all ages and skill levels in a highly diverse community. The person in this position is a team player that loves books, movies, music, and people, keeps abreast of technology trends, and enjoys connecting with others who share these interests.
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This position will report to the Head of Public Services and will participate in a variety of circulation and public service activities including supervising and training part-time circulation staff and student workers, supervising the Interlibrary Loan manager, assisting patrons, overseeing circulation functions at the Library, staffing an active and central service desk, maintenance and management of stacks, processing of course reserves, hiring and payroll of library’s student staff, and shared processing of interlibrary loan items. The successful candidate must enjoy working with and managing students and be able to multi-task effectively.
ALA-accredited MLS degree preferred. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience will also be considered. Previous library experience required; experience in public services (circulation or reference) strongly preferred. Experience with Endeavor’s Voyager circulation module strongly desired. Demonstrated supervisory experience and ability to work in a busy, fast-paced environment and experience with and understanding of the needs of undergraduate liberal arts communities and libraries strongly preferred. A commitment to effective service in a diverse setting is essential.
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Lake Forest College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Lake Forest College embraces diversity and encourages applications from women, members of historically underrepresented groups, veterans, and individuals with disabilities
diplae sacrae notations
In researching for my current project (an analysis of NT papyrus P45 as an early Christian artefact), I’ve come across Charles Hill’s doughty case that the artefactual data reflects “the presence of a ‘canonical consciousness’ among Christian scribes from at least the late second century”: “A Four-Gospel Canon the Second Century? Artifact and Arti-fiction,” Early Christianity 4 (2013): 310-334.
The three claims that Hill sets out to challenge are these: (1) that extra-canonical gospels were as popular (or even more so) than the four that became canonical, at least till the early 3rd century; (2) that in the pre-Constantinian period we cannot distinguish NT manuscripts from “apocryphal” ones; and (3) that, therefore, categories such as “apocryphal” and “NT” or “canonical” and “non-canonical” are anachronistic, prejudicial and inappropriate for this early period.
In response, Hill first notes that the term “apocrypha/apocryphal” actually derives from a term used by the authors of certain writings, such as the “the secret [apocryphal] revelatory discourse which Jesus spoke to Judas” (Gospel of Judas), and several other such writings. That is, these texts quite openly affirm that they are “apocryphal” or secret, esoteric writings. There is no indication that they were composed to form part of some early Christian canon.
Then Hill counts the numbers of extant copies of various texts from the first three centuries. Granting that there are noteworthy variations among these texts (e.g., only one sure copy of GMark), he cites some 36 manuscripts of one or another of the four canonical Gospels, whereas he finds only 10 extant copies of other gospel writings.
Hill also notes the physical features of the copies of the various texts, citing the early Christian preference for the codex, especially for copies of texts used as scriptures. It is noteworthy that a number of copies of non-canonical texts (“apocryphal” and others) are bookrolls (scrolls), which suggests that these texts weren’t regarded as scripture. There is no copy of any of the canonical Gospels in a bookroll format (noting, however, the one copy of GJohn on a re-used roll).
And when we look at other physical features, such as codex size, use of “nomina sacra,” the nature of the handwriting, and use of “readers’ aids,” we also seem some interesting distinctions. For example, some of our copies of apocryphal writings are miniatures, private copies not intended to be read in corporate settings.
As a final feature, Hill cites the curious use of marks that he calls “diplae sacrae.” These are arrow-shaped marks in the margins of some manuscripts (>>) that seem to flag quotations of other texts cited as scripture. Hill cites examples of pre-Constantinian manuscripts that use these marks, and it is interesting that we have examples of citations of NT texts that are marked this way, suggesting that the copyist regarded the NT text as scripture.
For those seriously interested in the question, I heartily recommend Hill’s data-rich and tightly argued article.
This is a multi-part review of NT Wright’s Paul and His Recent Interpreters (Fortress). Today we will look at chapters 3-5 on the New Perspective on Paul.
In chapter 3 (“The New Perspective on Paul”) Wright does a bit of pre-history and notes that the NPP path was already being paved by GF Moore, as well as Schweitzer and Davies to some degree. Interestingly, Wright makes the case that Ed Sanders’ work got a good hearing because it inadvertently resonated with Reformed theology (i.e., a unification of Old and New Testaments; see p. 67).
One point that Wright underscores over and over again throughout these chapters on the NPP is that Wright, Dunn, and Sanders have a few common causes, but they also have disagreed on quite a lot. For example, Wright never fully took on board Sanders’ idea of “covenantal nomism” (CN). Rather, Wright wanted to see more of a story-dimension, thus Wright here introduces the terminology of “covenantal narrative” that would include many of the features of Sanders’ CN, but add the centrality of worldview and metanarrative – a hallmark of NTW’s approach to ancient and early Judaism and early Christianity (see 71).Thus, NTW faults Sanders for talking about “covenant” without making reference to key story-shaped texts like Deut 27-30 (p. 75).
Also, NTW points out that he never really agreed with Sanders on the latter’s argument of “solution-to-plight.” Yes, there is some way in which Paul was shocked and surprised by the divine redemptive solution in the crucified/risen Jesus Christ, but indeed Jews knew there was a “problem” all along.
Not, to be sure, Martin Luther’s personal problem, but the national problem of Jews under Roman rule, with scripture unfulfilled, Israel unredeemed, and, not least, Israel’s God still not returning in glory as had been promised. (79)
A final key critique NTW makes of Sander’s Paul and Palestinian Judaism is Sanders’ narrow focus on “religion.” This effects how Sanders closes in a discussion of “getting in” and “staying in.” This makes it seem like Jews operated with a conversionistic framework, which most of them did not (see p 80).
Chapter 4: Life After Sanders
In chapter 4, NTW surveys the positive swell of interest in NPP “after Sanders.” He starts out by giving attention to Dunn, but doesn’t praise or critique Dunn too strongly: “My own view is that he has made a great many good points, but that his synthesis still lacks some of the dimensions necessary for a full account” (91). In NTW’s discussion of Dunn’s view on pistis Christou, I was surprised that NTW said this: “The [pistis Christou debate] might seem like a small exegetical either/or. But a good deal hangs on it, which is no doubt why the debate has run on in public, private and print” (97). I disagree – I think most scholars feel that it is more of a fun hobby than a serious theological matter, because both subjective and objective theological points can be true (and recognizable in Paul) whether or not Pistis Christou is interpreted as “this” or “that.” Funny comment in a footnote: at a public debate at SBL between Dunn and Hays on this, someone in the crowd called for a vote on Pistis Christou. The chair, Lee Keck, quickly killed the idea: “Nope. This ain’t the Jesus Seminar” (97n. 30).
NTW also adds the work of Hays in this chapter – not sure why. Hays has definitely supported a NPP reading, but not sure how his intertextuality work is directly related? (see 97-102). Next, NTW talks about Francis Watson – an important voice in the discussion. I wonder, though, why someone like Terence Donaldson was not included here. Or my colleague Kent Yinger.
Chapter 5: “The Old is Better”
Here NTW addresses the many and multi-faceted negative reactions to the NPP. Wright gives attention to Bob Gundry, DA Carson et al, Simon Gathercole, Seyoon Kim, and Martin Hengel. Wright considers the work of Friedrich Avemarie to be one of the stronger pushbacks. Here, NTW reaffirms that there was good resistance to Sanders’ “covenantal nomism” (repeating NTW’s move towards covenantal narrative; p. 111).
In this chapter Wright also responds to critiques of his own approach to Paul on “justification” (116-117; I have still not come around to Wright’s way of viewing this terminology). NTW also addresses the OPP defense of “imputation” of Christ’s righteousness. It is not that NTW does not believe in “imputation,” rather he thinks the evidence points to imputation of the “death and resurrection of the Messiah” – thus, Wright wants to push imputation more towards participation and away from substitution. I think Wright is correct about this, but I am not a fan of using the old-timey language of “imputation” (120-121).
In the latter part of this chapter Wright takes on Westerholm – and he has strong words indeed. Wright feels that he has been very much misrepresented and caricatured by Westerholm. But Wright himself has some potent words: “Simon Gathercole may be right, in his blurb, to say that Westerholm is ‘head and shoulders above almost everyone else’, but not ‘as an interpreter of Paul'” (128). Ouch!
I will stop there. I did a very quick run through various threads that NTW picked up in these chapters, but my little tour does not capture the outstanding analysis of Wright – again, this kind of “reading of the signs of times” is a speciality of Wright, so it makes for excellent reading. Next up – “Apocalyptic”
The Glenview Public Library has a part-time opening for a Paraprofessional II in the Reference Services Department. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: helping patrons with informational and directional questions, in person and over the phone; instructing patrons in the use of the online databases and catalog system; teaching computer classes; and various duties within the department, which may include coordinating displays and selecting print materials in assigned area.
Applicants should enjoy working with the public, be proficient in the use of technology, be able to work within a team environment and demonstrate familiarity with a nonfiction collection. Excellence in customer service in patron and staff interactions and strong communication skills are required.
BA or BS degree from an accredited college or university, and a minimum of two years related experience in a public library setting. LTA certificate also preferred.
Erikson Institute, a graduate school for child development, early childhood education, and social work located in downtown Chicago, is seeking to hire a circulation desk coordinator for the Edward Neisser Library.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Edward Neisser Library houses a unique collection of approximately 20,000 volumes that support the family and social services, child development and early childhood education curricula at the Institute. We seek an energetic and tech-savvy Circulation Desk Coordinator to join our small and collaborative staff to coordinate the activities at the main service desk in the library. Duties include hiring, training, and scheduling student library employees, collection maintenance, and operating the circulation, security, and inventory systems at use in the library. Reporting to the Library Director, the Circulation Desk Coordinator will also coordinate the processing of required course materials and copyright payments, and assist in processing interlibrary loan requests. Other duties as assigned; some evenings and weekends may be required.
• Evidence of strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
• Flexibility appropriate for a dynamic, collaborative work setting
• Enthusiasm for working with diverse groups of people in a user-focused library setting
• Associate's degree or equivalent
• Subject background in Education, Psychology, Human Development, or Social Work.
• 2 or more years of related experience in a higher education or library setting
• Supervisory experience
Founded in 1966, Erikson Institute is one of the nation's leading graduate schools in child development and early childhood education. It is a private, independent, HLC-accredited graduate school offering master's degrees, a Ph.D., graduate certificates, and professional development courses in child development, early childhood education, and social work. Erikson provides a variety of employee benefits, including excellent health and dental plans, life/disability insurance, transit stipend, matching retirement contributions, and more. To learn more, visit our Web site at www.erikson.edu
Erikson Institute is an equal opportunity employer. We consider all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, marital or parental status, sexual orientation including gender identity, gender expression, military discharge status, physical or mental disability, or any other status or characteristic protected by law. In addition, Erikson Institute provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and applicable state and local laws (including during the application or hiring process).
Please email cover letter and resume to:
Attn: Library Search
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email: librarysearch [at] erikson [dot] edu
Absolutely NO phone inquiries accepted.
The two-space rule accommodated manual typewriters.
For theological words follow The SBL Handbook of Style (pp. 37–52). For example,
Follow ch. 8 in The SBL Handbook of Style (pp. 117–260), especially for books of the Bible (pp. 124–25). For example,
Two exceptions: Spell out the book name if (1) a chapter (or chapter and verse) does not follow it or (2) it comes first in the sentence. For example,
For papers (and journal articles), say something like this: “Scripture quotations are from the ESV.” Or “Scripture quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise noted.” (I know—the previous sentence has both a nominalization and a passive. It’s legit rule-breaking.)
Anecdote: In my first PhD seminar with Don Carson at Trinity, a student was defending his paper before the class, and Don asked him something like this: “Why do you use your own rigidly form-based translation in your paper? That is a very MDiv-ish thing to do. Why not simply use one of the standard translations like the NIV or ESV and then diverge from that when you think helpful?”
Critique a book or article on its own terms. Don’t criticize an author merely because they didn’t write the book you wish they would have written; critique a book or article based on what its author intended it to be. Here’s a good diagnostic question to ask yourself: Would you critique an author differently if they were in the room listening to you evaluate them?
Related: Aaron Armstrong, “How to Write a Great Book Review.”
Don’t present specific arguments that aren’t original to you as if they are. Usually when seminarians plagiarize material to some degree, they don’t intend to. Understand what plagiarism is so that you don’t do it.
The Customer Services Department, Interlibrary Loan Unit, has a position opening for a full-time Library Assistant Coordinator, Grade VI. This is a 37.5 hour per week "non-exempt" position with a full benefits package, per the current Personnel Policy. Benefits include: Vacation, sick, and personal business allowance, health, dental, and vision insurance, IMRF pension plan and life insurance. The position reports to the Customer Services Department Head. Work schedule includes days, with evening and weekend work as required. The current salary range is $31,102.32 to $44,786.68 per year.
Minimum Qualifications: High School diploma required; some college or special library training desirable, including knowledge of Sirsi-Dynix, Integrated Library systems (ILS) and experience using OCLC's WorldCat a plus. Two year's experience as Library Assistant or its equivalent is preferred. Supervisory and related work experience is highly desirable. Must have ability to meet and work with people of diverse backgrounds and to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Must be able to organize work efficiently.
Regular duties include assisting in supervision, evaluation, training, and assignment of work to library assistant; coordinating and processing of workflow, and other functions of the interlibrary loan services; placing holds and checking materials in and out; answering directional questions; assiting patrons in the use of the library collections, equipment, and outreach services while providing excellent customer service. Some other duties include: reviewing and updating processes and procedures; processing reserve requests, placing and filling interlibrary loan requests; maintaining statistics and preparing reports; cross-training for ILL/Circulation, and Outreach job duties; attend relevant workshops and keep up to date with changes in SWAN; and other duties as assigned. For detailed KRA: www.olpl.org/Library_Assistant_Coordinator.pdf
To apply to this position, please submit your application or resume, cover letter, and three reference to Olpljobs [at] olpl [dot] org by May 27, 2016.
The Customer Services Department Circulation/ILL/Outreach unit, has a position opening for a full-time Circulation Services Coordinator, Grade VIII. This is a 37.5 hour per week "exempt" position with a full benefits package, per the current Personnel Policy. Benefits include: Vacation, sick, birthday holiday, personal leave allowance, health, dental, and vision insurance, IMRF pension plan and life insurance. The position reports to the Customer Services Department Head. Work schedule includes daytime, evening, and weekend hours, as required. The current salary range is $36,277.44 to $52,081.92 per year.
The major functions of this position is to supervise the effecient operation of the Circulation Service Desk involving the direct circulation of library materials to the public while providing excellent customer service. Some regular duties include: supervising, training, scheduling, and assigning work to staff; interpreting and enforcing library policies; creating manuals and tutorials for Customer Service staff training; facilitating internal communication within the department; assisting in the planning, coordination, and implementation of projects and services within and between departments; maintaining circulation records and patron databases; processing notices and maintaining procedures to ensure the appropriate handling of bills, fines, and receipt of revenues associated with the circulation and return of library materials.
College, specialized library training, or related library experience is highly desirable, including knowledge of Sirsi-Dynix, integrated library systems (ILS) and Microsoft Office products is a plus. Supervisory and related work experience is required.
Must have ability to work effectively with people and to organize time efficiently. Must have ability to comprehend and relate to changes as they occur in applicable computer software and to train library staff to utilize software effectively. Must be able to work with library's IT Department on user related problems related to the network, circulation and interlibrary loan equipment. Ability to work well with people of diverse backgrounds (adults and children) and to exercise tact and discretion in handling public service difficulties is essential.For detailed KRA: www.olpl.org/Circulation_Services_Coordinator.pdf
If interested in applying for this position, please submit your cover letter, application or resume, and three references to Olpljobs [at] olpl [dot] org by May 27, 2016.
Are you a logistical thinker who likes to get things organized? Do you believe that many hands make light work? Then being the Coordinator of the Highland Park Public Library Page Pool and Volunteer Work Force might be just the job for you! Join the library’s team – contribute ideas for future projects, coach and mentor people who love putting everything in place, maximize the library’s potential for service!
Duties: Hire, train, supervise, schedule, and evaluate page staff. Select and assign talented volunteers throughout the library. Oversee shelving and collection maintenance. Coordinate volunteer projects.
-Two years of college and library or supervisory experience.
-Problem solving, communication, and interpersonal skills.
-Ability to develop procedures to optimize collection access and staff efficiency.
-Flexibility when considering supervisory work as well as the work of the Library in order to forecast future service demands.
-Knowledge of alphabetic and Dewey Decimal filing systems.
-Bilingual Spanish/English is desirable.
Apply by submitting an application (available online at http://www.hplibrary.org/jobs) to:
Robin Smith, Membership Services Manager
Highland Park Public Library
494 Laurel Avenue
Highland Park, IL 60035 (847/432-0216)
rsmith [at] hplibrary [dot] org (rsmith [at] hplibrary [dot] org)
Customer-service oriented person to join Circulation Services team. Assists Department Head with management and supervision. Seeking excellent interpersonal, communication and technology skills, as well as demonstrated ability to work with patrons of all ages.
Requirements: Bachelor's degree; minimum two years public library experience; minimum one year customer service experience; minimum one year supervisory experience; excellent knowledge of e-mail, PCs and Internet searching; basic knowledge of integrated library system.
For complete position description, go to www.clpl.org.
To apply, complete the Library's application and submit no later than May 3, 2016 to: Crystal Lake Public Library, 126 Paddock Street, Crystal Lake IL 60014. EEO
A new book is now the “go-to” resource on the text-critical question about the account of the adulteress brought to Jesus (in traditional texts, John 7:53–8:11): The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research, eds. David Alan Black and Jacob N. Cerone (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016). The publisher’s online catalogue entry is here.
Ironically, though one of the most well-known narratives in the New Testament, the account is widely judged by scholars as an addition to the text of the Gospel of John. But that is not a universal view, and this volume features treatments of the question by five scholars, two of them (John David Punch and Maurice A. Robinson) proposing that the story is an authentic part of Gospel of John and omitted in the course of its transmission, and three other scholars (Tommy Wasserman, Jennifer Knust, and Chris Keith) arguing that the account originated elsewhere and was added to Gospel of John.
The essays originated in a symposium held in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, North Carolina), 25-26 April 2014. I was contacted sometime later and asked to write a response to the essays, which forms the final essay in this volume: “The Pericope Adulterae: Where from Here?” (pp. 147-58).
I judge superior the arguments (by Wasserman, Knust and Keith) that the text is an addition to copies of the Gospel of John, and I state my bases for this judgement in the essay. In particular, I focus on the lack of the account in our earliest manuscripts that preserve the relevant portion of John (P66, P75, Vaticanus, Sinaiticus). In the manuscript tradition, the account first appears in Codex Bezae (5th century). But, curiously, not long thereafter the account won acceptance and so appears as a standard part of John in the mass of Medieval manuscripts.
Focusing on the repeated references in the story to Jesus writing on the ground, Chris Keith’s award-winning book (based on his PhD thesis completed here in Edinburgh) presents his case that the text was initially inserted in some copies of John to present Jesus as fully literate: The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus (Leiden: Brill, 2009). Some early Christian writers reflect a knowledge of the story, and 4th century writers indicate that it appeared in some copies of John. So, was it likely inserted initially perhaps in the 3rd-4th century??
As a very modest contribution of my own, in my concluding essay I focus on the chronology and the manuscripts. Whenever the account first became a part of John, it clearly didn’t win widescale acceptance until sometime in/after the 5th century. Now, according to a widely held view in NT text-critical circles, the first two or three centuries were a time of “wild” transmission and various major textual changes, and then the 4th century and later was a time of much greater fixity and control of the text. But the manuscript evidence for the story of the adulteress woman, and also for the “long ending” of Mark, seems to call this view into question.
For example, the impression one takes from the manuscript evidence is that neither of these major textual variants (in fact, the two largest textual variants in the NT) won much acceptance in the earliest period of supposed “wild” attitudes and freely made changes. Instead, both variants actually won acceptance later, in the period when supposedly such major changes were not so likely to gain acceptance.
So, the question I pose very briefly in my essay is this: Is it possible that the common view of the transmission-history of NT writings (however intuitively it appeals) is wrong, or at least seriously defective? More specifically, were there factors and dynamics in the later period that facilitated the inclusion and wide acceptance of these sizeable variants?
To ask such a question is, I recognize, a “heretical” move, in terms of widely-held scholarly views. And, to be sure, to ask the question is not to presume the answer. But I think that we (NT textual critics) should perhaps consider my question more closely than has been done to this point. Perhaps, just perhaps, the early history of the transmission of NT writings is a bit more complex than the standard model allows . . . and perhaps a good bit more interesting!
My buddy Andy Johnson (Nazarene Theol Sem) – wonderful guy, great scholar – has written a handy essay on “Building a New Testament Library: Philippians – Philemon.” Below I give quick notes on his choices, and any of my own additions will be noted by “NKG.” Please do read his full comments, of course.
Flemming (NBBC) – Wesleyan
*NKG: I echo all these. Everyone needs to read Joe Hellerman (EGGNT) who nails the Roman-cultural dynamics. Also, I think Witherington deserves mention, his new commentary (2011) is one I use often.
Gupta (SHBC) – Thanks, Andy!
*NKG: Again, all good choices (esp that Gupta guy, he sounds smart). I would add NT Wright’s little Tyndale volume on Colossians – older (1989), but theological rich. I would also vote for Garland’s NIVAC on the popular-ish level.Also, I might have had Barth instead of Moo, though Moo is definitely more up-to-date on scholarship (Barth was 1995).
NT Wright – early part of Paul and the Faithfulness of God. NKG: I concur, good stuff here.
*NKG: I am no expert, but I would recommend John Barclay’s little book on Colossians and Philemon. The section on Philemon is outstanding.
Weima (BEC) – *NKG: yes, this is the best work available
Johnson (THNT, 2016) – NKG – this will be good! Can’t wait!
*NKG: While it is rather short and does not get into exegetical details much, the fine work of Beverly Gaventa (Interp) ought not to be ignored. Pastors should own her commentary for sure. Also, though it is quite old now (1983), Howard Marshall’s work on 1-2 Thessalonians is impeccable. This is one of Marshall’s finest commentaries.
Wall and Steele (THNT)
*NKG: Definitely Johnson. I would just add Jimmy Dunn’s fine work in the NIB. Johnson tends to be my “go-to” on technical matters (along with Howard Marshall ICC), but Dunn on more theological questions.
Jared Compton. Psalm 110 and the Logic of Hebrews. Library of New Testament Studies 537. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015.
Jared (@jaredmcompton) entered the PhD program at Trinity one year after I did, and he and our wives became close friends. While we were at Trinity, we both joined CrossWay Community Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and learned so much from Mike Bullmore. After serving as a NT professor at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary for a few years, Jared returned to CrossWay Community Church as one of their pastors.
Both Jared and I wrote our dissertations under Don Carson on the use of the OT in the NT. Jared focused on how Hebrews uses Psalm 110, and now it’s in the prestigious LNTS series. Jared kindly agreed to answer some questions about his new book:
My interest in Hebrews and this topic began during my doctoral studies. I’d decided to take a quarter-semester seminar on Hebrews, partly because I liked the professor (Peter O’Brien) and partly because Hebrews puzzled me. And it was during that seminar that I discovered that Hebrews puzzled me in two areas that I was already eager to explore in the dissertation I needed to write (!), namely, how texts fit together (something, I suppose, akin to discourse analysis) and how the NT uses the OT. It wasn’t until the next year, in another seminar, that these two areas, these two disciplines, happily converged into the “research problem” that motivated my dissertation (and now book). In God’s providence—though there were other more straightforward reasons that I simply can’t recall—I decided to write a paper on the use of Ps 110 in Hebrews. And it was during the course of that research that I came to the provisional conclusion that Ps 110 contained Hebrews in nuce (“in a nutshell,” to riff on Richard Hays’s way of describing Deut 32 in Romans). I began to think that Ps 110 played some sort of fundamental, argument-directing role in Hebrews’ exposition. And to my surprise, while I could find one or two authors making a similar point, no one had pursued it very far. And that’s when I knew what I had to do, what I wanted to explore. That paper was really the “first draft” of my dissertation.
In the book I argue that Ps 110 directs the logic of Hebrews’ argument, Hebrews’ exposition vis-à-vis its exhortation. I suspect that idea itself will be controversial, considering, for example, that Heb 8–10 is often thought to turn no longer on Ps 110 but on Jer 31 or some combination of Jer 31 and one or two others texts (e.g., Ps 40).
What will also be controversial, however, is the specific argument I see Ps 110 directing in Hebrews. I argue that Hebrews uses Ps 110 to suggest the scriptural plausibility of the Christian gospel. I’ll explain. Hebrews’ exposition divides into three parts: chapters 1–2, 5–7 and 8–10. In the first part (chs. 1–2), I argue that Hebrews uses Ps 110.1 to (1) interpret Jesus’s resurrection as his messianic enthronement (1:5–14), (2) connect Jesus’s enthronement with his fulfillment of Psalm 8’s vision for humanity (2:5–9)—this is my favorite part of the book (and the very first part I wrote), and (3) begin to explain why Jesus was enthroned through suffering (2:10–18). Then in the second and third parts of Hebrews (chs. 5–7, 8–10), I argue that the author corroborates this initial argument, this narrative sketch of the Christian gospel—i.e., the solution of the human problem through the death of the Messiah. The author now uses Ps 110:1 and 110:4. He uses these texts to (1) show that the Messiah was expected to be a superior priest and, moreover, (2) show that this messianic priest was expected to solve the human problem through death (5:1–10; 7:1–28; 8:1–10:18).
I say this reading will be controversial, as if what I’m arguing is some never-heard-of-before thesis. I’m not that brave (or naïve). The sorts of things I argue aren’t entirely new, but to my knowledge they’ve never been argued in the sort of sustained, rigorous way I try to do in my book.
I’ll mention just one, and it’s right at the beginning of the book. I argue that the OT catena (i.e., the 7 OT citations in Heb 1:5–13) proves that Jesus is superior to angels because he is the long-awaited Messiah and not also because he is divine (which he is, but that’s not part of the author’s argument). Hebrews 1:4 suggests the Son—Jesus—is superior to angels because of something he became (the enthroned Messiah), not because of something he always was (God). For the way I see the author’s citations of Deut 32 and, especially, Ps 102 support this reading, and these are the most obvious and difficult obstacles, see my book!
My ideal reader would be an unbelieving first-century Jew or, better, a recently-converted-though-struggling-to-believe first-century Jewish Christian. Short of that, I’d settle for a serious-minded “seeker,” wondering how Christianity can claim that Jesus of Nazareth was (and is!) Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. I’d also settle for readers who, like me, struggle to believe God, specifically, that Jesus is the enthroned Messiah, when so many of his (and, thus, our) enemies have yet to be put under his boot or, related, readers who struggle to believe these things about Jesus because he is, presently, absent from view, reigning invisibly in heaven and not visibly on this earth. I’d also be very encouraged were a pastor, preparing to preach through Hebrews, to pick up my book and use it to help him—and his congregation—see Hebrews’ big picture. I was going to say that this sort of result would make the book worth the effort. But the spiritual benefit I gained from researching and writing this book were (so much more than) sufficient to justify the effort. But this sort of result would certainly be very encouraging.
I’ve got an essay on how Hebrews 11 does biblical theology that I’m going to (I need to!) draft for a book I’m writing with a couple friends. Beyond this, I’d love to write a short, pithy and readable little commentary on Hebrews, something in the tradition of Derek Kidner, John Stott, or Dale Ralph Davis. Whether I’ve got one of those in me is an open question. But I’d like to try. (Publishers?)