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Showing posts from January, 2012

Song of Songs: A Plan of Attack

So I've started working through some background on Song of Songs. Hopefully within four to six weeks a post or two will start rolling out here. I thought I'd give you all a heads up on my plan of attack.

This study will probably move slowly, both because I'm sure I'll get sidetracked for various reasons and because I want to try to do a fairly detailed study. I'll be working out of the LXX for three reasons. Two of them are practical - I don't know Hebrew and I need to sharpen my Greek. Thirdly, though, in our quest to recover the 'original' reading (I'm not sure what exactly constitutes an original reading for most OT texts, Song of Songs included), we've often completely shelved the LXX in favor of the Hebrew MT. I'm not so sure that we should for several reasons, two of which I'll briefly mention. One, the LXX represents the earliest interpretation we have of the OT. Second, the LXX was an authoritative version of the early church and…

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: the Domestication of Lisbeth

Saturday night I went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I had been looking forward to this since I first saw the Swedish original in the summer of 2010. I would give the original a 9 out of 10. The American version gets a 7. I have a couple of minor quibbles witht the film, but I don't want to focus on those. I want to focus on a bigger issue. To be clear, I have not read the book, so I'm only comparing it to the original Swedish adaptation.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, you will see a fair number of posts on this blog on topics related to sexuality and gender. I think that I want to use some of that to explore out own (American) cultural values. Periodically movies will come along that give interesting insight into how we view women and sex. This is definitely one of those movies. What gives us an even better opportunity here is that we have a Sweadish version of the same movie to compare against.

Part of what I liked about the Swedish original so much was the char…

Commentary Review: Galatians

There are a glut of Galatians commentaries on the market. Memo to publishers, no more traditional commentaries on Galatians for ten years, please! An entry from the Brazos or Two Horizons series would be welcome, though. With there being so many on the market, there are a few that I haven't looked at much and hence will not review (e.g., Bruce, Matera, and Witherington). It's not that I don't think that they're up to the level of the ones below, I just had to draw the line somewhere. As usual, if you're unfamiliar with any of the series, please visit my commentary series overview page.


In my opinion, one commentary stands above them all on Galatians, James Dunn's, even after almost twenty years. Anytime I had an interpretive question, Dunn's was the first commentary I turned to. It contained enough detail to be thorough but it wasn't excessively long. It's also not just a commentary for New Perspective on Paul (NPP) fans, which I think is a major mi…

Galatians: One Big Application

Now that Galatians is in the books, I feel that I must ask what I've learned. What made the study fruitful? One thing that became crystal clear to me was the source and importance of unity.

There is a lot of discussion in the parts of the Evangelical world today about gospel unity. In short it seeks to ground unity in the gospel, meaning that we are united to one another by virtue of having a similar confession and we can work for the kingdom with anyone who agrees with us on key doctrinal issues and a particular formulation of the gospel. I want to rain on this well attended parade. I don't find this to be a helpful way to ground our unity. Galatians (and Paul generally) presents a different source, and to be very provocative I fear that this approach runs far too close to that of the false teachers who had infiltrated Galatia (though I certainly would not call them false brothers).

Orthodoxy isn't the source of our unity. The Holy Spirit is. Full stop.

What is the proble…