Posted by Pastoral Musings on 30th December 2010
2011 promises to be a new year.
Did you know that?
It seemed apparent didn’t it?
Well, for me, I hope it is new in the sense of a new approach to my studies and blogging.
I enjoy blogging. I also enjoy studying. I also enjoy reading. In fact, I’ve blogged quite a bit this year. I’ve read approximately 100 books and reviewed more than 50.
For 2011 I intend to slow that down. I intend to focus on a couple of special areas of interest to me. I also intend for my blogging to reflect that. It may be that the first quarter won’t reflect that as much as the latter three quarters, due to getting into a groove.
Never the less, this blog will be heading back toward more pastoral musings. Musings that relate to pastoral duties, cares, experiences, application of texts, biblical studies in relation to the pulpit, and news as relates to Scripture (though I don’t think I’ll embrace Jim West’s “Total Depravity” philosophy of blogging).
I hope you’ll hang around, click through, subscribe, read, and interact.
Happy New Year!
Tags: Biblical studies, blogging, New Testament studies, Old Testament studies, pastor, pastoral musings, scholarship, shepherd
Posted in blogging, church issues, doctrinal issues, ministry, pastoral issues, political, Preaching, Scripture, Social, textual issues, theology | Comments Off
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 10th November 2010
One of the primary themes of Luke is God’s care for the unfortunate, downtrodden, and outcasts. It is this theme that I shall try to deal with on a somewhat regular basis for a while.
The first instance of this is seen in Luke 1:5-25. It is the passage in which Gabriel announces to Zacharias that he and Elizabeth, who was barren, would be parents in their old age.
I suppose much can be said of this, but let is suffice us to say one thing only. Zacharias and Elizabeth were advanced in age and childless. Not only was barrenness considered a curse, but they were also without someone to care for them in the event of their being disabled. The blessing is that God blesses this couple not only with a child as He did Abraham and Sarah, but also with an angelic visitation and a child who would be a prophet; and not only a prophet, but the prophet who would herald the coming of Christ.
That, my friend, is an immense gift to an unfortunate couple!
Tags: Biblical themes, downtrodden, gentiles, God, John the Baptist, Lukan studies, Lukan themes, Luke, New Testament studies, NT, outcasts, poor
Posted in Bible, Bible Themes, exegesis, gospels, New Testament | Comments Off
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 9th November 2010
I am concerned that evangelicals, by and large, approach the OT with an unbiblical dependency on the NT. Since the NT is newer revelation and offers a more developed view of God’s redeeming purposes, it becomes the key by which we “unlock” the meaning of what has come before it. There is no overt discrimination against the OT, just a lack of deep engagement with it as meaningful, relevant revelation in its own right.
Tyler Kenney on Desiring God Blog
This is very true. We simply must interpret the data through Christian lens, but we must also realize that the OT people did not see many things as clearly as we do. We must seek to steer through the middle, understanding that the OT is about Christ, yet it is often that He is found in pictures, types, symbols, and prophecies. Those things meant something in the context in which they were spoken. We must seek to find what they meant then. When we do so we shall find that they illumine what we know now as much, if not more than, the NT illuminating them.
Tags: Bible study, Biblical studies, biblioblog, exegesis, hermeneutics, New Testament, New Testament studies, Old Testament, Old Testament studies
Posted in Bible, exegesis | 1 Comment »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 1st September 2010
The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity by Andreas J. Köstenberger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! That is what I must say about this book.
As one who is interested in apologetics and New Testament studies, I was interested in writing a review of this book. I approached it as one would approach a textbook: with trepidation. I felt it would be scholarly- it is; I felt it would be dull- it is not. This book is well written, interesting, scholarly, and all in all a very good book.
The authors are men who are convinced that the Bible is God’s Word and reliable and take great care in demonstrating this while going against the current of popular culture and so-called scholarship.
The main issues with which the book deals are the issues of orthodoxy, the development of the NT canon, and textual transmission. They show us from Scripture itself, the early church fathers, and other sources that there was indeed a standard of faith that was held to in the early church. There was variation, but there was a standard of truth. There was orthodoxy in the early church.
They move from the issue of orthodoxy vs heresy to showing that the canon was not something that was decided upon in the fourth century by certain power mongers and then imposed upon everyone else. In fact, the authors demonstrate that the NT writers themselves understood that they were writing Scripture. The churches recognized that the four gospels were authoritative proclamations of the truth and also acknowledged the various epistles and apostolic works as being of God. This happened gradually as the various books were written and traveled from place to place, but it happened in the late first century and early second century. They explain that the process of canonization was not a decree that was passed, or the decision of a council, but a general receiving of the NT by the churches and their accepting the NT as inspired of God and authoritative.
Finally, the authors show that the NT has not been lost in transmission. Far from being lost, we have an embarrassment of riches in NT studies because of the multitude of manuscripts that we possess today. Though there are a few places where textual variant leave us in doubt of the exact text of Scripture, we know that we have a reliable NT text today. In fact, we can be assured that our Bible is the Word of God and is essentially the same as it was in the days of the early church due to the excellent manner in which God providentially preserved it for us.
I am convinced that this book will stand the test of time. Though written as a response to some particular voices of today, this book’s worth is seen in that it defends and upholds the timeless Word of God. Bauer is gone, and Ehrman shall soon be gone, but God’s Word lives forever. So, too, will this book abide as an excellent defense of the authority and reliability of the NT.
I received this book free from Crossway. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
View all my reviews
Tags: Andreas Kostenberger, apologetics, Bible, Crossway, heresy, New Testament, New Testament studies, orthodoxy
Posted in book reviews | 7 Comments »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 3rd August 2010
Commentators should be urged to follow the methodology of combining historical analysis with theological interpretation so that readers of their volumes learn that exegesis is both historical and theological in nature. Historical exegesis alone is insufficient because it lacks explanatory power, and theological exegesis alone is without proper foundation in an accurate understanding of scripture.9 This, of course, means that theologians have to become exegetes and exegetes have to become theologians.
via The Bible and Interpretation.
Tags: Biblical criticism, Biblical studies, criticism, exegesis, historical criticism, New Testament studies, theology
Posted in Bible, exegesis | 1 Comment »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 31st July 2010
Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.
Irenaeus, A.H. 3.1.1
1. Matthew: Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome…
2. Mark: After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. (Note that it is while Peter and Paul were in Rome that Matthew wrote, while it is after they departed that Mark wrote.)
3. Luke: Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. (This is somewhat ambiguous, because he doesn’t give us a time frame. Luke is probably viewed as third in order due to his being listed in that manner.)
4. John: Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia.
Tags: Irenaeus, John, Luke, Mark, markan priority, matthean priority, Matthew, New Testament, New Testament studies, q, quelle, synoptic problem
Posted in Bible, exegesis, gospels, New Testament, synoptic problem, textual issues | 1 Comment »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 27th July 2010
H.C. Thiessen, in his NT Intro introduces an interesting point.
If Luke, when writing for Gentiles, used Mark as a source, why did he not use Mark 6:45-8:9 ? This includes the encounter of Jesus with a Gentile woman when He cast a devil out of her daughter. It also includes Jesus’ healing of a man who was a deaf-mute. These things occurred in Tyre and Sidon. These were Gentiles.
Why, if Luke relied so heavily upon Mark, would he leave something so significant out?
Tags: Luke, Mark, New Testament studies, synoptics
Posted in Bible, gospels, New Testament, synoptic problem, textual issues, theology | 5 Comments »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 24th July 2010
This is a series to follow.
Over on Re:Fundamentals, Erik is working through a response to the Jesus Seminar.
Tags: historical Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Seminar, New Testament, New Testament studies
Posted in Bible, doctrinal issues, doctrine, exegesis, gospels, liberalism, New Testament, synoptic problem, textual issues, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 7th July 2010
Many take the approach to the “Synoptic Problem” that Mark must have written first and then Matthew and Luke “borrowed” from his Gospel.
The reasoning is that Mark is “reproduced” in Matthew and Luke to such an extent that, if Mark were later, there would have been no reason for him to write a Gospel. After all, what he had to say would have already been written.
According to this reasoning we must ask the following:
1. Why do magazines edit stories to fit their periodicals? After all, it has already been written and is available elsewhere.
2. Why do Reader’s Digest Condensed Books exist? After all, why reproduce what has already been written? It is available elsewhere.
How about this? Matthew had already been written, but was not available in Rome. Thus Mark wrote for the people in Rome.
Tags: gospels, Luke, Mark, Matthew, New Testament, New Testament studies, synoptic gospels, synoptic problem
Posted in Bible, gospels, New Testament, synoptic problem, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Posted by Pastoral Musings on 5th July 2010
If…anyone should feel shocked at the literary ethic – or lack of it – which allowed Matthew and Luke to “crib” from Mark, let him remember that the law of copyright, a consequence of the invention of printing, did not then exist. In antiquity, when books were copied by hand, commercial copyright had no value; and ancient historians felt themselves free to use portions of their predecessors’ work, without the courtesy of quotation marks.
Archibald M. Hunter, Introducing The New Testament (Third Revised Edition) ; Westminster Press
Where does one begin with an assessment of such a statement as this? Can you see a problem here? I hope you can. Ethics did not begin with Gutenberg. Ethics are grounded in the Godhead. Do you recall the LORD saying “Be ye holy, for I am holy”? (1Peter 1:16) I also count it doubtful that most writers would have been pleased to see their works used without some sort of attribution. I do know that the Early Church Fathers who wrote in the generation following the apostles quite often gave the sources of their quotations. I have a feeling that there was a greater ethic present than some would have us believe.
Furthermore, we should certainly expect Christians to adhere to an ethic higher than that of the world around them. Jesus not only established the commandments and law of God, but He introduced an ethic that was far greater than that of the Old Testament. It is not that His morals are higher, or His ethics stronger. It is that Jesus demonstrated that the ethic of holiness is first an ethic of the heart. Yet, when we consider Matthew and Luke “cribbing” from Mark, we cannot but see that they would not only have been thieves in action, but thieves at heart. What does that do to our understanding of Divine Inspiration (2Timothy 3:16-17)? Would God have led them to steal the words of another?
I’m sure much could be said concerning oral tradition and an oral culture. The true question is, what about the ethics of the matter?
If Matthew and Luke were common plagiarists we can be sure that their writings are not the work and Word of God.
Tags: John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, New Testament, New Testament studies, q, synoptic gospels, synoptic problem
Posted in Bible, gospels, liberalism, New Testament, synoptic problem | Comments Off