October 2008

…on the problem of evil, a recent debate in San Francisco.  See here for the audio.

I just got an email about this fellowship/bursary:

CODEC, St John’s College, University of Durham

PhD Research Project
Communicating the Gospel in a Digital Age or Biblical Literacy in a Digital Age £11,000 bursary per annum (plus academic fees paid)

CODEC has been awarded funding from The Methodist Church of Great Britain to establish a research project exploring either the impact of the digital age on the communication of the Gospel or the use of the Bible in the Church and in an increasingly digital society.

We are seeking a student with outstanding potential to pursue research in the above areas based at St John’s College at the University of Durham and within the newly established CODEC research centre in collaboration with the Director of Research, Revd Dr Peter Phillips.
St John’s offers a wealth of research collaboration opportunities including the Wesley Studies Centre, Cranmer Hall and the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Durham. The research supervisory panel will bring together support from each of these centres, while the PhD will be undertaken through the normal University of Durham graduate processes.

While pursuing this research you will be expected to work together with other researchers, academic members of staff and ordinands at the various associated centres. You are expected to have a good Masters degree or at least a high 2.1 BA (Hons) (or equivalent) in Theology or a related subject. Candidates with a high 2.1 in Media or Computing Studies or related subjects as well as a postgraduate qualification in Theology will also be considered. Ideally you will have an active interest and/or experience in more than one of the following areas:
communication, media, postmodernism, biblical literacy, missiology/ evangelism. You should have good computer skills. Good written- and verbal-communication skills are essential as are the ability to work as part of a developing research community, be self-motivated and pro- active.
The successful candidate will be expected to complete the PhD programme including the publication of relevant research papers and academic articles, as well as contributions to academic conferences and the dissemination of the conclusions reached during the research.

Candidates will provide a formal research proposal as part of the application process. Interviews will involve the presentation of this research proposal to a panel.
For an informal discussion or an application form and further particulars please contact Dr Peter Phillips, Centre for Biblical Literacy, Tel: 0191 334 3896, Mobile: 0787 633 7157 email:

Closing date: 31 October 2008


I emailed Morna Hooker about her book From Adam to Christ to see if she knew anywhere to get a copy since it’s been out of print and the only used copy I found was £90.  She told me that Wipf and Stock have picked it up, and I just noticed that it is now on their website: From Adam to Christ for only $18.  A little better price than the other one I found.  It’s a definite SBL buy.

Also, she has a couple of updated articles coming out regarding interchange, which I heard her present as papers last year.  One will be in Novum Testamentum.  The other will be published in the Proceedings of the Irish Biblical Association, but it sounded like it wasn’t as far along in the process.

Here’s the Michaelmas Term 2008 New Testament Research Seminar for Durham’s Department of Theology and Religion (Seminar Room C, Abbey House, 4.15—5.45 pm each Monday):

13 October: Seminar reception in Seminar Room B, starting at 4.30pm

20 October: Professor C. Clifton Black (Princeton Theological Seminary): ‘Revisiting Biblical Theology’

27 October: Professor Francis Watson (Durham): ‘Luke, Papias and Gospel Origins’

3 November: Professor Richard Hays (Duke Divinity School): ‘Hidden in order to Be Revealed: Jesus as the God of Israel in Mark’s Gospel’

5 November: C.K. Barrett Lecture by Professor Richard Hays (Duke Divinity School): ‘Turning the World Upside Down: Israel’s Scripture in Luke-Acts.’

10 November: Dr Wendy E.S. North (Durham): ‘Points and Stars: John and the Synoptics’

17 November: Postgraduate research in progress presentations—Susan Mathew, ‘Reciprocity in the Pauline Mission: Reflections on the Role ans Status of Phoebe in Rom 16.1-2’; Kyle Wells, ‘The Vinidication of the Divine and Human Agent in Paul’s Reading of Deuteronomy 30.1-10’

24 November: no seminar due to SBL meeting in Boston USA

1 December: Professor John Moles (Newcastle): ‘Chrestians and Christians in the First Century’

8 December: Dr Paul Foster (Edinburgh): ‘Passion Traditions in the Gospel of Peter’

15 December: Professor Donald Hagner (Fuller Theological Seminary): title TBA

Here’s the Table of Contents from Brevard Childs’ recently published book from Eerdmans: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus.  Looks very interesting.  It will be good to see his view of theologically interpreting Paul, especially in light of his Wirkungsgeschichte, which is near and dear to my thesis.

1. The Search for Paul’s Theology 1
I. Recent Historical Attempts 1
II. The Pauline Corpus 3
III. The Hermeneutical Problem of Interpreting the Corpus 7
IV. Historical Criticism and Canonical Context 10
     1. Elements of Continuity 13 
     2. Elements of Discontinuity 15

V. The Role of a Text’s Background 17
VI. Criteria for Canonicity 19
     1. Apostolicity 21
     2. Catholicity 22
     3. Orthodoxy 23

VII. The Biblical Canon and the Problem of Textual Reception 24

2. Alternative Proposals for the Problem of Interpretation 29
I. Ulrich Luz: Wirkungsgeschichte 29
II. Richard B. Hays: Intertextual Reading of Scripture 32
III. Frances Young: The Ethics of Reading Paul 39
     1. The Development of Young’s Understanding 40
     2. A Critical Assessment of Young’s Hermeneutical Proposals 42
IV. Luke T. Johnson: Exegesis and Hermeneutics 46
     1. Johnson’s Interpretive Approach 47
     2. Critical Reflections on Johnson’s Proposals 48

V. Wayne A. Meeks: The Social Context of Pauline Theology 50
     1. Meeks’s Approach Outlined 51
     2. Examples of Meeks’s Social Interpretation 52
     3. A Critical Evaluation of Meeks’s Approach 56
     4. The Role of the Canon and Jesus’ Identity 60

3. The Shaping of the Pauline Corpus 65
I. The Letter to the Romans 65
II. The Pastoral Epistles 69
III. The Hermeneutical Significance of the Canonical Structure 75

4. Exegetical Probes: Introduction and Guidelines 79
I. Paul’s Apostolate and the Gospel 81
     1. Characteristic Features of Paul’s Apostleship 83
     2. The Theological Implications of Canon 96
II. Abraham’s Faith in Galatians 3 and Romans 4 97
     1. J. C. Beker’s Categories of Contingency and Coherence 97
     2. J. Louis Martyn’s Analysis of the Role of the “Teachers” 99
     3. A Canonical Reading of Abraham’s Faith according to Paul 103
     4. Justification in Philippians 108
     5. Justification in the Pastorals 110
     6. Hermeneutical Implications 111
III. Life in the Spirit 112
     1. Romans 8:1-27 113
     2. Galatians 5:13-26 115
     3. The Canonical Relation of Romans 8 and Galatians 5 117
     4. 2 Corinthians 3:1–4:6 122
     5. Richard Hays and Ernst Käsemann on 2 Corinthians 3 135
IV. Community Gifts and Worship 138
     1. 1 Corinthians 12–14 139
     2. Romans 12:1-21 143
     3. Canonical Shaping of Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 145
     4. Ephesians 4:7-16 148
V. The Order of the Church and Its Offices 153
     1. Introduction: The History of the Debate 153
     2. The Pastoral Letters in the Debate 156
     3. The Broadening of the Discussion 157
     4. The Contributions of German Catholic Scholarship 159
     5. Hermeneutical Implications of the Debate 164
VI. The Weak and the Strong 167
     1. 1 Corinthians 8:1–11:1 167
     2. Romans 14:1–15:13 171
     3. Comparison of Corinthians and Romans 173
     4. The Weak and Strong within the Pauline Corpus 175

VII. Israel and the Church: Romans 9–11 178
     1. Form, Function, and Purpose of Romans 9–11 178
     2. Paul’s Gospel Grounded on Israel’s Scriptures 183
     3. The Hermeneutics of Paul’s Use of Scripture 189
     4. The Canonical Function of Romans 9–11 192
VIII. The Apocalyptic Shape of Paul’s Theology 194
     1. The Old Testament Background of Apocalypticism 195
     2. Characteristic Features of Apocalypticism 197
     3. Apocalyptic and the Growth of Early Christianity 199
     4. Apocalyptic Traditions within the Pauline Corpus 206
     5. Theological and Canonical Implications of Apocalyptic 216

5. The Canonical Framing of the Pauline Corpus 219
I. Acts of the Apostles 219
     1. The Debate over the Canonical Role of Luke-Acts 219
     2. The Canonization of Acts 223
     3. The Goals, Purpose, and Function of Acts 226
     4. The Hermeneutical Effect of the Canonization of Acts 231
     5. The Singularity of Paul’s Letters and Their Corporate Form 234
     6. Kähler’s Hermeneutic and the So-called Historical Paul 236

II. Hebrews 237
     1. Critical Issues 237
     2. Major Theological Themes of Continuity 239
     3. Themes of Radical Discontinuity 241
     4. Exhortation and Parenesis 242
     5. The Humanity of Jesus 244
     6. The Major Hermeneutical Issues at Stake 244
     7. Reasons for Inclusion of Hebrews in the Pauline Corpus 248
     8. The Effect of Hebrews within the Pauline Corpus 249

6. Theological Implications of the Pauline Corpus for Interpretation 253
I. The Theological Integrity of a Canonical Reading 253
II. The Canonical Context as an Interpretive Guide 254
III. Canonical Shaping and Reader Interpretation 255
IV. The Hermeneutical Dialectic in Reading the Corpus 255
V. The Historical and Canonical Paul 256
VI. The Christological Content of the Pauline Witness 257
VII. The Faithfulness of God to His Promises 258
VIII. The Eschatological-Apocalyptical Witness of Paul 258

HT: Out of the Silent Planet

With my interest in things historical and in traditions other than my own, I have thought a little about being protestant.  The other day in a theological discussion I got asked why I’m not Eastern Orthodox since I give weight to church history in making theological decisions.  I articulated a few things, but I think this recent post by Scot McKnight–Why I am not a Catholic or Eastern Orthodox–captures the main points in more detail, though I might articulate some things a little differently.  For instance, I don’t think he mentions worship style.  I’m a fan of liturgy but I also have an appreciation of the interaction that some modern worship styles offer.