Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from October, 2013

My Journey With Scripture and Critical Scholarship: Part 3

Click here for part 1 and part 2.

In the fall of 2009 I began taking classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I felt a little conflicted over signing their statement of faith, but I eventually did. I didn't learn many things there (besides Greek) that had long term impact on me, but it was generally a good time that really stretched me, both by challenging my thinking and by making it clear to me where my main points of disagreement with conservative evangelicalism lied. I did a total of 19 credits prior to withdrawing. Before moving on, though, I do want to say how much I appreciated Graham Cole's class on biblical theology. I am more of a historical theologian (with the biblical text being the most important stage in the historical process) than a biblical theologian, but I think that Cole's basic definition of the missio dei, 'securing God's people in God's place under God's reign living God's way enjoying God's shalom in God's loving …

My Journey With Scripture and Critical Scholarship: Part 2

Click here for part 1.

At the start of 2008 there was a firestorm of controversy surrounding Peter Enns and his book Inspiration and Incarnation. I was continuing to study as outlined in my last post. At the start of 2009, 9 months after his "resignation", I got around to reading his book. I found it very helpful. The more I had studied the more difficult it was for me to understand how Scripture could be the Word of God and have all of the human characteristics I was noticing. Our doctrine of Scripture should not be a way of sweeping the difficulty of the Bible away. Rather our doctrine of Scripture needs to be phenomenological. Enns book was profoundly helpful for me. Even though I now reject the incarnational model he presented (just as Jesus is fully human and fully divine, so is Scripture), I needed to see someone wrestling with the same problems who came up with a way to honor Scripture while still recognizing that it was completely human.

Later that spring I moved on …

My Journey With Scripture and Critical Scholarship: Part 1

I have been working on a one on one class for my wife on New Testament backgrounds. When one begins to understand the New Testament in its context, it becomes clear that some conceptions of the Bible are inadequate. I have gone through a metamorphosis over the last decade and after the class my wife understood why much better. This led her to ask me to chronicle my journey with the Bible and critical scholarship and how my faith has been challenged and has grown.

I grew up in a fundamentalist family. I don't resent it, unlike many who have left fundamentalism behind. My parents were trying to please God as best they could. The importance of the Bible was drilled into me and I loved reading it, especially the narrative portions of the Old Testament. When I was 7 I read through my NIV Bible in its entirety. Needless to say, there was a lot that I did not understand.

When I went to college I was a member of Agape Christian Fellowship at the University of Rochester. It is a multi-ethn…

Finding Our Way Through Genesis Two

The fourth post I ever wrote on this blog was a recap of a talk I heard John Walton give at a meeting of the Wheaton-Naperville chapter of the ASA. Four years later I had the opportunity to hear him speak on Genesis 2 at the same venue. As it was then, it was a complete pleasure to hear him speak. His exegesis was fascinating and his manner engaging.

Walton began the talk by asking whether Genesis 2 is a detailed recounting of day 6 of the Genesis 1 narrative or if it's at some point later in the narrative. One problem he points out with the first option is that you have a different creation order in Genesis 2 than in Genesis 1. Additionally, he notes that every other time in Genesis where you have an account that is synoptic of the one preceding, it is a story about two brothers. Walton, then, finds it likely that Genesis 2 tells a story from some point in time after day 6.

Next Walton tackled the occurrences of 'Adam' in Genesis 1-5. 'Adam' in 1:26-2:5 is referri…

John 1:35-51: von Wahlde's Composition Theory

In this series of posts (no idea how many there will be), I will mark up the NRSV text as von Wahlde does his own translation to distinguish which edition the material comes from. Plain type will represent first edition material; italics, second edition; and bold face, third. 35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is …