Chris Keith’s thought-provoking and worthwhile new book

Chris Keith Jesus against the Scribal Elite: The Origins of the Conflict Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014; ISBN 978-0-8010-3988-1 [As many readers of this review will recognise, the author of this book is my colleague at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Professor Chris Keith was kind enough to give a copy of the book I review here, but without any request for review, let alone—of course—for a favourable review. What follows is my responsibility alone.] Get a cup of coffee (or your preferred tipple)—this is a Continue reading →

Two interesting posts

Here are links to two interesting posts in New Testament studies. Ian Paul writes about the number of visits Jesus made to Jerusalem. It’s frequently suggested that the synoptic Gospels portray only one visit by Jesus as an adult, whereas John has Jesus visit for three passovers. In this post, Ian Paul argues cogently that the synoptics betray knowledge of other visits by Jesus to Jerusalem, so that the picture of only one visit in the synoptics is over-simple. Thoughtful and worth reading. Craig Evans Continue reading →

Stunning video of a river flooding a dry riverbed

This is a stunning video of huge rainfall in the hill refilling the River Zin in the Negeb. The villagers are gathered to watch this amazing event. This illuminates Isaiah 44:3 ‘I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground’ or Psalm 126:4 ‘Restore our fortunes, O YHWH, like the watercourses in the Negeb’—verses that make sense in the context of Israel/Palestine in a way that they rarely (although occasionally) do for a westerner like me. 2 minutes 45 Continue reading →

Useful review of Schnabel’s commentary on Acts

    Here’s a very useful review of Eckhard Schnabel’s commentary on Acts in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the NT series. I’m enjoying engaging with this commentary, both for the careful analysis of and comment on the Greek text, and for Schnabel’s evident concern for what it means to read Acts today. It’s thus helpful to have this careful and clear review by Daniel L. Smith of St Louis University—he does what good reviewers do: after setting the context of the book, he spends Continue reading →

Learning and church structures: a stimulating book by Claire S. Smith

This book addresses a really important topic, the ‘learning’ nature of the Pauline communities (especially in Corinth, Ephesus and Crete)—although the title is technical rather than inviting—and it’s stimulated me to write about a particular point arising from it. In general, I’ve enjoyed reading Claire Smith’s book and a full review (I wrote almost 2500 words) will appear on the excellent Review of Biblical Literature in due course (I’ll post here when the time comes). The particular point that I want to note here is Continue reading →