Book Announcement: @ivpacademic’s Paul and Judaism Revisited A Study of Divine and Human Agency in Salvation

Some of you still like to read the Apostle Paul… so if you do, this looks like a good book for you: Ever since E. P. Sanders published Paul and Palestinian Judaism in 1977, students of Paul have been probing, weighing and debating the similarities and dissimilarities between the understandings of salvation in Judaism and in Paul. Do they really share a common notion of divine and human agency? Or do they differ at a deep level? And if so, how? Broadly speaking, the answers have lined up on either side of the old perspective and new perspective divide. But can


Oh Tony, you keep using that word…, or, in favor of St. James of the McGraths

I haven’t covered this for a while, but I see Tony Breeden is now attacking the Apostle Paul and Jesus by way of James McGrath. On Tony’s FB page, he writes, He is referring back to this post. But what is the “basic doctrine of the Christian faith?” Is it really the resurrection? If there is a litmus test for “true believers” it neither Young Earth Creationism nor the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is whether or not you can say “Jesus is Lord.” This is simply stated in 1 Co 12.3. If we look at 1 Co


Josephus and Paul go to Rome

In 64 CE, Paul stood before Felix as both a Jew and a Roman (Acts 23.23-35), mired in a conspiracy that accused the Jews of attempting to murder the apostle. Or, at least, according to Acts. Is this a historical or a historiographical event? Oddly enough, Josephus records that he went to Rome during the same time period (1.13-6). And… there was a shipwreck. I can’t tell from reading it if he accompanied the priests or not. I’m not going to put this into my book because of the hypothetical nature of this – and I don’t discuss Paul. Of course,


Reading: New Creation in Paul’s Letters – Chapter 5

Chapter 5 will deal with Paul’s use of the term in Galatians. More specifically, Galatians 6.11-18. Jackson notices the flesh-spirit mix and uses this to point to establish an eschatological paradigm in this epistle. There is also Paul’s boasting in the cross which hints at this. Now, for me, this is an interesting line, and a different way of setting the Epistle of Galatians. Further, he follows Winter and Hardin in putting the dispute in Galatians into a political realm in which Paul’s adversaries are those who are seeking to align the Messiah-believers with other Jewish groups in order to


More thoughts on Seneca and Paul

Narrowing it down to Romans only, the idea that the Law is human weakness can be compared to the Seneca’s notion that after the golden age, laws were needed to curtail abuses by tyrants. Further, Seneca notes his disagree with Posidonius in what constitutes works of wisdom. The latter believed that house was a work of wisdom while Seneca countered that these houses led to the human swarms found in the cities. Seneca notes other items Posidonius calls wise are nothing more than the works of the flesh as they have not, in fact brought about human advancement, but

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Did Jesus have long hair?

Almost every statue, crucifix, painting and image I have seen of Jesus shows him having long hair. So I had assumed that Jesus must have had long hair.  A reason some men give for having long hair is to say that Jesus had long hair. In the new season of Two and Half Men, Alan tells a long-haired and bearded Walden that he looks like Jesus. Paul had this to say about hair length: Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has

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Paul on gymnasiums

You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living