Give yourself the Gift of a Good Journal This Christmas (imagine a cheesy smile on my face)

At SBL, the journal that Mike Bird and I edit, Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters, had a two-volume debut. Eisenbrauns has done a fine job working with us and producing a “handsome” periodical. It has been a particular blessing for  me to work with a fantastic editorial board and great contributors.

Why not give yourself, this Christmas, the gift of a new subscription – the gift that keeps on giving all year long?! (Cue cheesy smile)

OK, all joking aside, Eisenbrauns is offering a really good discount offer for individuals until December 31:

Here are the particulars (which I ripped directly from Mike’s blog):

Eisenbrauns has a special end of year subscription offer for the Journal for the Study of Paul and his Letters. If you take out a subscription for JSPL in 2012 for $30, which includes two forthcoming issues, for only $15 you can get the two 2011 issues as well! That is the 2011 and 2012 issues of JSPL for just $45!!!*

We’ve had a great year in JSPL this year (2011) with articles by Michael Gorman, Douglas Campbell, Chris Tilling, Richard Bell, Susan Eastman, and Paul Fosters among others. And now 2012 is promising to be a great year in Pauline studies with articles by Mark Nanos and Bruce Longenecker on Galatians and Salvation-History and hopefully a contribution from a former bishop of Durham could be on the cards as well!

Offer ends 31 December. Makes the perfect Christmas gift for biblical scholars.

Sign up here.

* This price is for individuals not institutions. For institutions there is $15 off the price for purchasing the 2011 issues.

Now, of course I am biased, but let me say that we are trying to do something really special with this journal in such a way that we hope to make some strong contributions to Pauline scholarship. As Mike has mentioned, we have some neat stuff planned. If you cannot afford the journal yourself, maybe you could ask your university/seminary library to consider subscribing. Thanks for those who have taken an interest in the journal!



God and Violence in the Bible and the modern world

The subject of God and violence in the Bible and the modern world is very controversial and any theologian would (and should!) find it a daunting task to answer student questions on this matter.

Because I have been teaching lately on Joshua and Judges, I felt the need to talk about violence in the Bible and how we are meant to reflect on that issue today (both in terms of theodicy and Christian ethics).

So, I dared to write a series of blog posts on the issue, not because I think I am an expert, but because even a basic framework to understand this issue is better than none at all!

I wrote this series on SPU’s Center for Biblical and Theological Education director’s blog (Celeste Cranston is our very capable director). They can be found HERE.

I encourage your feedback, as I am still processing all of the scholarship I can. As a “New Testament guy” I felt out of my element dealing with the violence of the OT, but as a Christian I have a deep desire to make sense of all of this. So, I would love to be in dialogue. My views are articulated, but not unchangeable. I am open to being persuaded to think differently!

Anyway, I have lectured on this material to students, staff, faculty, and local church groups. The overall impression is that, “This is a helpful start, but I have more problems, concerns, and questions yet to be answered…” Join the club!

FYI – some of the best resources in my study on this subject were

1. John Goldingay’s always provocative and stimulating perspectives in his Old Testament Theology

2. Terence Fretheim’s articles on God and Violence (check ATLA).

3. Brueggemann – of course.

4. Gordon Wenham – see Story as Torah – conclusion (esp. pp. 153ff)

5. David Lamb – God Behaving Badly (sometimes a few clarifications and some contextual detail go a long way…thanks David)

If you read the blog posts, you will see that I am not a pacifist – strange, since I live in Seattle! But, neither am I the NRA poster child. I articulate my particular perspective – with fear and trembling.

Volume 58.1 of New Testament Studies

This is not “new” news, but I just took some time to browse the latest issue of New Testament Studies (58.1). Some very attractive pieces!

Alan Kirk writes on “Orality, Writing, and Phantom Sources: Appeals to Ancient Media in Some Recent Challenges to the Two Document Hypothesis.” Apparently, Kirk is taking on Dunn, Mournet, Baum, and Burkett when it comes to orality vs. literary approaches to the Synoptic problem.

James Crossley writes on the reference to “with the hand in the shape of a fist” (Mark 7:3). He interprets this with regards to a known purity practice in early Jewish law that is concerned with “using the minimal amount of water required for hand-washing.”

David Horrell, who is currently working on the ICC commentary on 1 Peter, tackles 1 Peter 2:9, focusing on Christian identity and the use of “ethnoracial terms.”

Lots of other good stuff in this issue. Check it out.