Review: Claire S. Smith, Pauline Communities as ‘Scholastic Communities’: A Study of the Vocabulary of ‘Teaching’ in 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus

    I commented on this stimulating and thoughtful study by Claire S. Smith some while ago on this blog, here, and sketched some of its implication. Now my review has been published by Review of Biblical Literature online, so you can read it here. There’s also a shorter, but helpful, summary-review by Andrew D. Clarke in Themelios online here.

Simon Gathercole on Tom Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God

  Here’s a fresh, generous and stimulating review of N. T. Wright’s big Paul and the Faithfulness of God by my friend Simon Gathercole, who teaches in the Faculty of Divinity at Cambridge. I’ve greatly enjoyed reading Simon’s review, which is gracious and clear, and clarifies and maps areas of agreement and disagreement nicely. It’s preparing me for reading Wright himself—I am going to take the big book on hols and will hope to blog about it.

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 →

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 →

Judy Redman on the parable of the wheat and weeds (tares)

Here’s a great piece by Judy Redman from her blog about the parable of the wheat and weeds (tares) in Matthew 13:24-30—well worth reading. I’m particularly struck by the way she uses her training in agriculture to inform her reading of this parable and to show how much sense it makes in the first century, where agricultural practices were different to day. I love the fact that there was a law against people spreading darnel seed among wheat seed, which suggests that Jesus’ scenario in Continue reading →