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Showing posts from May, 2013

Book Review: The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude

Who were Jesus, James, and Jude? David deSilva's most recent monograph,The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, tackles part of that question. For much of the history of the church, Jesus, his brothers, and the rest of the early church were distanced from their second temple Jewish background. We see this as early as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. deSilva tackles this notion head on seeking to show how Jewish Jesus, James, and Jude were by comparing their sayings and writings with writings from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.

After this initial explanation of his rationale for the book, deSilva discusses his methodology. He is seeking toshow that Jesus, James, and Jude not only were at home within a second temple environment, but also dependence on works from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. It kicks off with a discussion of intertextuality; specifically with Hays' criteria for determining inter…

John: Genre and Historicity

In preparation, I have been slogging my way through page after page of introductions to the Gospel of John. At the same time My wife has asked me to prepare some material on ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish history and culture to aid her Bible reading. So, I've red\ad David Aune's masterful study The New Testament in Its Literary Environment (Library of Early Christianity). This is probably not a popular view, but I believe that these types of background study are indispensable - even more important to New Testament study than knowledge of Greek.

One of the commentaries I plan on using to study John is the masterful work of Craig Keener. I think he's one of the two or three best active Evangelical New Testament scholars. What I appreciate is his strong emphasis on background and his effort to place John within the proper genre for analysis. Keener, along with Aune, consider John to be a biography.[1] Ancient biography could span from pure fiction to an account of a person&…