I am really enjoying thumbing through the 2009 book About the Bible: Short Answers to Big Questions (rev.; Augsburg, 2009), by T. Fretheim.
He says that merely seeing the prophet as social reformer or as future-predictor misses the heart of the matter. Here is his succinct definition:
a man or woman dispatched by God with a word of judgment or promise for a critical moment in the history of God’s people. (p 99)
I don’t know when it came out, but the most recent issue of Early Christianity (Mohr Siebeck) has the theme of “Christianity and Empire” with articles by A. Droge, J. Albert Harrill, and Paul Holloway, among others. John Granger talks about “Crucifixion in Imperial Thessalonica” under the subject of “NEW DISCOVERIES.”
Check it out.
I am reading LTJ’s Among the Gentiles and right now learning more about Greco-Roman religion in the Roman Empire.
This quote is poignant
The realm of the gods did not simply mirror the world of humans. The membrane separating the human and the divine world was permeable, with traffic moving in both directions” (p. 36)
Doesn’t he have a way with words? So great. This is better:
Some thoughtful Gentiles tended to view the Olympians much as the British do the equally fractious and embarrassing royal family–helpful and even necessary as societal glue but not much use for actual governance (38)
Ha ha ha!
The Journal of Theological Studies issue 62.2 (Oct 2011) is online now and the articles looks really interesting.
Markus Bockmuehl offers a discussion of the early Christian perspective on Jesus’ ancestry in “The Son of David and His Mother”
James Ware offers “Law, Christ, and Covenant: Paul’s Theology of the Law in Romans 3:19-20”
Bradly Billings looks as the use of “domestic space” in “Early Urban Christianity” in Ephesus.
There are a heap of book reviews, many of them look interesting.