A fun book! Peter Rodgers’ The Sign of the Dolphin

Peter Rodgers kindly gave me free access to the Kindle version of his second novel about people involved in copying New Testament manuscripts in the second century AD. This is textual criticism made wonderfully accessible in narrative form, and a great read. Peter Rodgers is Vicar (Pastor) of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Antelope, California, and teaches New Testament and Preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary. He’s a delightful man, and has much to answer for in having taught me Greek during my theological studies in Cambridge many Continue reading →

Reading Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God (4)

Here the fourth of my series of posts as I read through Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God. The earlier posts are here, here, and here. This post focuses on chapter 4, ‘A Cock for Asclepius: “Religion” and “Culture” in Paul’s World’. The chapter title echoes Socrates’ final words to his friend Crito after Socrates had taken hemlock to commit suicide—he instructed Crito to offer a cock to the god of healing, Asclepius, probably as a thanksgiving for the ease of his death. Wright’s point Continue reading →

Reading Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God (3)

Here’s the third of my series of posts as I read through Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God (= PFG). The earlier posts are here and here. I am enjoying reading it, I must say: as always, Wright writes in an engaging and readable style which makes material accessible and clear. Chapter 3 is the second of four chapters looking at Paul’s context in the first century: chapter 2 looked at Judaism, this chapter focuses on Greek thought, and the next two focus (respectively) on religion Continue reading →

Reading Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God (2)

This is my second post as I’m reading through N. T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God (= PFG). For introduction to the series, see here. After his preface and introductory chapter, where he engages with Philemon and lots of methodological stuff, Wright turns to a series of four chapters on the dominant worldviews of Paul’s day: Judaism, Greek thought, Graeco-Roman religion and culture, and the Roman imperial scene. Chapter 2, which this post focuses on, is about Judaism, especially Pharisaism. This is a very readable chapter Continue reading →

Reading Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God (1)

I’m reading through N. T. Wright’s massive Paul and the Faithfulness of God (hereafter PFG), so I shall put up a series of periodic posts on what I’m reading and my thoughts about it. Disclaimer: I am not a Pauline specialist, so these are the views of an interested amateur, rather than someone like Simon Gathercole, whose valuable review of PFG I posted about recently. I did substantial review articles of the second and third books in Wright’s big series Christian Origins and the Question of God, namely Jesus and Continue reading →