John H. (Jack) Elliott, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco, is one of the founding figures of social-scientific criticism and its application to biblical interpretation as well as to the interpretation of other ancient literature.
In this tribute 21 well-known practitioners of social-science criticism build on and advance various aspects of Elliott’s work and methodology.
It’s available from Sheffield-Phoenix.
Caution was Zwingli’s characteristic. He would move no faster than public sentiment approved. Yet he did his best to form such sentiment. He prepared the way for the change and then quietly let things come to a crisis. So it was with the radical matter of using the vernacular for the Church services; Zwingli advocated it, but Leo Jud, in the baptism of a child in the Great Minster, August 10, 1523, first introduced it, and then when Zwingli found it was popular, he proceeded to reform the liturgy and unfold his novel teaching respecting it.
In his treatise on “The Canon of the Mass,” —dated IV. Cal. Septemb. (i. e., September 2) 1523— the canon is that part of the mass liturgy in which the words of the institution appear, and is therefore doctrinally the storm centre of discussion respecting it —he enunciates the doctrine now so commonly associated with his name that the Eucharist is not a mystery but a ministry, the atmosphere is not awe but love, the result is not infusion of grace but of enthusiasm; we remember Christ, and the thought of His presence stirs us to fresh exertion in His service. He proposed a substitute for the Latin prayers which still more strikingly would set forth these teachings.
Yet, characteristically he made no innovation himself at once. His books, however, laid down principles which logically followed out would oblige a complete break with the Old Church. Yet, so slow was he to make changes that on October 9, 1523, he actually defended himself against the charge that he retained the Old Church ceremonies—the use of the cross, vestments, choir-singing, etc.,—because he liked them!*
It was Zwingli’s refusal to force the populace to Reform which infuriated the Anabaptists. This is itself quite odd given their supposed unwillingness to coerce belief in any respect. But of course Munster put the lie to their false piety and unwillingness to use force to enforce their ideas.
*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 200–201).
Vincent informs us that
Professor Richard Bauckham and Dr Chris Marshall presented a lecture series on the historical Jesus, at Carey College, 7-8 August 2014.
Here are a few of the videos. The rest can be seen at the link above.
A Pennsylvania congregation seeking to attract new attendees has also generated controversy as it recently purchased billboard space that features the quote “I love sex,” attributed to God.
Restored Church, a non-denominational assembly in Wilkes-Barre purchased the billboard to advertise its upcoming sermon series on sex and the Song of Solomon.
“It’s in every single sitcom. It’s on the radio. I mean, you go on any major news media outlet and there’s stories about sexuality,” leader Dan Nichols told local television station WNEP. “If the culture can be so bold, I think the church can be so bold and speak directly on the subject and be up front about it.”
Yeah, the Church can, and should talk about sex. But pandering or titillating are counterproductive and unnecessary. Simply using sex as a tool to attract the otherwise disinterested will result in their attendance for a time but not true discipleship. Such churches as this forget that we are called to make disciples, not church attenders.
But when church is nothing more than a business, you run it like one.
We asked Dr Dirk Jongkind (New Testament Research Fellow at Tyndale House, and Fellow at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge) a few questions about it.
Why produce a new Greek New Testament?
There are a number of Greek New Testaments available today, for example the one published by United Bible Societies and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. We asked Dirk why Tyndale House has decided to take on such a project, and what makes the THEGNT unique?
To a large degree the project plays a role within the STEP project (Scripture Tools for Every Person), in which we make high quality scholarly tools available free of charge. To have a good, critical text under our own copyright means that we become less dependent on others.
However, we also have a scholarly reason for doing so. Both Peter Head and I have been studying the mechanics of copying New Testament manuscripts, and we are using the picture of scribal behaviour that has emerged from these studies to explain why variants came into existence. We start from the assumption that scribes did not want to change the text but did so in the process of copying. It is this angle that will set the Tyndale House Edition of the Greek New Testament apart.
We then asked Dirk what exactly ‘textual criticism’ means, since this ambitious project entails a lot of it, and how he became interested in this line of research.
Textual criticism deals with the history of texts. It asks what their original wording was, and what happened to this wording because of accidents of copying, manuscript faults, the development of language, etc. At the base of textual criticism lie the manuscripts and early translations of the New Testament, but you also need a sound understanding of the language itself.
As a young teenager I got a Greek New Testament on St Nicholas’ Eve (the Dutch equivalent of a Christmas present) and I was fascinated by all the variants and numbers at the bottom of the page, the textual apparatus. Years later, when starting to think about a topic for a PhD, Peter Head dropped a remark that no one had written recently about the Codex Sinaiticus, and in my mind everything clicked together immediately.
We asked how, in this internet age, the THEGNT will make its public appearance.
The THEGNT will be published in stages, though not in instalments. The first edition will be put out electronically and we will invite feedback from scholars and other knowledgeable people. The second edition will also contain a print element. We will put considerable emphasis in explaining why we did what we did and provide a rationale for many of our choices. We expect publication is 2016 or 2017.
Who doesn’t love a new edition of an important text?