Torah Ethics and Early Christian Identity (Gupta)


This may have been a book release that flew under the radar at the end of 2016. This multi-contributor work (ed. S.J. Wendel and D.M. Miller) is something of a Festschrift in honor of Stephen Westerholm (see preface). The main topic of the volume raises this key question: “in what ways did the Mosaic law continue to serve as a positive reference point for Christ-believers regardless of whether they thought Torah observant was essential?”

The book is divided into three sections: Torah Ethics in Early Judaism, Torah Ethics and the New Testament, and Beyond the New Testament. Contributors include Adele Reinhartz, Scot McKnight, Beverly Gaventa, Terence Donaldson, Richard Hays (a reprint of a previously published essay), and the book is capped off by an essay by Westerholm himself. The essays do seem to hang together pretty well, but I found the title a bit misleading – I am not sure “Torah ethics” is the right word. It may have better been termed “Torah and Early Christian Identity.” Still, several worthwhile essays included. Of particular interest to me were these:

Anders Runesson, “Entering a Synagogue with Paul: First-Century Torah Observance”

Scot McKnight, “The Law of the Laws: James, Wisdom, and the Law”

Beverly Gaventa, “Questions about Nomos: Answers about Christos: Romans 10:4 in Context”

Terence Donaldson, “Paul, Abraham’s Gentile Offspring, and the Torah”



New Editors of NIGTC: Still and Goodacre (Gupta)

The news has just come from Eerdmans that the NIGTC commentary series has named two new editors: Mark Goodacre and Todd Still. Todd I know very well – a first-rate Paulinist –  and I have followed Mark’s blog and his research for many years. These are outstanding choices for the series leadership. The NIGTC has a great reputation, under the previous editorship of Donald Hagner and Howard Marshall. I think of RT France’s Mark, Thiselton’s 1 Corinthians, Dunn’s Colossians, and Beale’s Revelation.

My hope for the NIGTC in the future, especially under this excellent new leadership, is the acquisition of female authors and authors of color -and I am sure this will be a concern for Still and Goodacre as guild leaders. Looking forward to great things to come from NIGTC!