Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful…

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the folk who know Scripture so well they don’t have to study it would share their great knowledge at church?  Wouldn’t it be brilliant if all those saints who don’t need Sunday School or Worship or Bible Study would deign to share with the ignorant masses who crave to know more about the teaching and message of Scripture their great storehouse of biblical knowledge?

Wouldn’t it….

#ICYMI – An Overview of James Barr’s Collected Essays

The three volumes published by Oxford and edited by John Barton feature all of these:


Foreword, John Barton
James Barr Remembered, Ernest Nicholson & John Barton
Introduction, John Barton

I: Biblical Interpretation and Biblical Theology 
1. Does Biblical Study still belong to Theology?
2. Biblical Scholarship and the Unity of the Church
3. Historical Reading and the Theological Interpretation of Scripture
4. The Bible as a Document of Believing Communities
5. Some Thoughts on Narrative, Myth and Incarnation
6. Reading the Bible as Literature
7. Divine Action and Hebrew Wisdom
8. Biblical Scholarship and the Theory of Truth
9. Literality
10. Exegesis as a Theological Discipline Reconsidered, and the Shadow of the Jesus of History
11. Biblical Criticism as Theological Enlightenment
12. Jowett and the Reading of the Bible ‘like any other book’
13. The Bible as a Political Document
14. Revelation through History in the Old Testament and in Modern Theology
15. Semantics and Biblical Theology
16. Story and History in Biblical Theology
17. Biblical Theology
18. Biblical Theology and Revelation in History
19. Trends and Prospects in Biblical Theology
20. The Theological Case against Biblical Theology
21. Some Problems in the Search for a Pan-Biblical Theology
22. Predictions and Surprises: A Response to Walter Brueggemann’s Review

II: Authority of Scripture 
23. Has the Bible any Authority?
24. Biblical Hermeneutics in Ecumenical Discussion
25. The Authority of Scripture: Dictionary Definition
26. Scriptural Proof
27. The Authority of Scripture: The Book of Genesis and the Origin of Evil in Jewish and Christian Tradition
28. Review of William J. Abraham, Divine Revelation and the Limits of Historical Criticism

III: Judaism 
29. Judaism: Its Continuity with the Bible

IV: Natural Theology 
30. Biblical Faith and Natural Theology
31. Mowinckel, the Old Testament, and the Question of Natural Theology
32. Biblical Law and the Question of Natural Theology
33. Greek Culture and the Question of Natural Theology
34. Ancient Biblical Laws and Modern Human Rights

V: Environing Religions 
35. Philo of Byblos and his ‘Phoenician History’
36. The Question of Religious Influence: The Case of Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity
37. The Language of Religion


Introduction, John Barton

I. Old Testament 
1. The Old Testament
2. The Old Testament and the new crisis of Biblical Authority
3. The Meaning of ‘Mythology’ in Relation to the Old Testament
4. Theophany and Anthropomorphism in the Old Testament
5. The Image of God in Genesis: Some Linguistic and Historical Considerations
6. The Image of God in the Book of Genesis: A Study in Terminology
7. The Symbolism of Names in the Old Testament
8. The Book of Job and its Modern Interpreters
9. Jewish Apocalyptic in Recent Scholarly Study
10. An Aspect of Salvation in the Old Testament
11. Review article of M. Brett, Biblical Criticism in Crisis?
12. Hebraic Psychology
13. Review of James L. Kugel, The Idea of Biblical Poetry
14. The Synchronic, the Diachronic, and the Historical: A Triangular Relationshipa
15. Some Semantic Notes on the Covenant
16. Was Everything that God Created really good?: A Question in the First Verse of the Bible
17. Reflections on the Covenant with Noah
18. A Puzzle in Deuteronomy
19. Mythical Monarch Unmasked? Mysterious Doings of Debir King of Eglon
20. Did Isaiah know about Hebrew ‘Root Meanings’?
21. Thou art the Cherub’: Ezekiel 28.14 and the Post-Ezekiel Understanding of Genesis 2-3

II. New Testament 
22. Which Language did Jesus speak? Some Remarks of a Semitist
23. Words for Love in Biblical Greek
24. Abba isn’t ‘Daddy’
25. The Hebrew/Aramaic Background of ‘Hypocrisy’ in the Gospels

III. Methods and Implications 
26. Allegory and Typology
27. The Literal, the Allegorical, and Modern Biblical Scholarship
28. Allegory and Historicism
29. Childs’ Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture
30. Man and Nature: The Ecological Controversy and the Old Testament
31. Biblical Language and Exegesis: How far does Structuralism help us?

IV. Biblical Chronology 
32. Why the World was Created in 4004 BC: Archbishop Usser and Biblical Chronology
33. Biblical Chronology: Legend or Science?
34. Luther and Biblical Chronology
35. Review of W. Adler, Time Immemorial: Archaic History and its Sources in Christian Chronography from Julius Africanus to George Syncellus
36. Pre-scientific Chronology: The Bible and the Origin of the World

V. Fundamentalism 
37. Fundamentalism
38. Fundamentalism and Biblical Authority [Religious Fundamentalism]
39. The Fundamentalist Understanding of Scripture
40. The Problem of Fundamentalism Today
41. Fundamentalism’ and Evangelical Scholarship
42. The Dynamics of Fundamentalism
43. Foreword to Fundamentalism edited by Martyn Percy

VI. History of Scholarship 
44. John Duncan
45. H. H. Rowley
46. Godfrey Rolles Driver
47. George Bradford Caird
48. Remembrances of ‘Historical Criticism’: Speiser s Genesis Commentary and its History of Reception
49. Wilhelm Vischer and Allegory
50. Friedrich Delitzsch
51. Morris Jastrow
52. Foreword to In Search of Wisdom: Essays in Memory of John G. Gammie


Introduction, John Barton

1. Ancient Translations 
1. Vocalization and the Analysis of Hebrew among the Ancient Translators
2. Three Interrelated Factors in the Semantic Study of Ancient Hebrew
3. Guessing’ in the Septuagint
4. Doubts about Homeophony in the Septuagint
5. Did the Greek Pentateuch really serve as a Dictionary for the Translation of the Later Booksa
6. Seeing the Wood for the Trees? An Enigmatic Ancient Translation
7. erizw and ereidw in the Septuagint: A Note principally on Gen. xlix.6
8. Aramaic-Greek Notes on the Book of Enoch
9. The Meaning of epakouw and Cognates in the LXX
10. Review article of J. Reider, An Index to Aquila
11. Review of P. Walters (Katz), The Text of the Septuagint
12. Review article of Bruce H. Metzger (ed.), The Early Versions of the New Testament
13. Translators’ Handling of Verb Tense in Semantically Ambiguous Contexts
14. Cr)b – MOLIS; Prov. xi.31, 1 Peter iv.18

2. Modern Translations 
15. Biblical Translation and the Church
16. After Five Years: A Retrospect on Two Major Translations of the Bible
17. Modern English Bible Versions as a Problem for the Church

3. Hebrew and Semitic Languages 
18. Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek in the Hellenistic Age
19. Hebrew Linguistic Literature: From the 16th Century to the Present
20. The Nature of Linguistic Evidence in the Text of the Bible
21. Reading a Script without Vowels
22. Semitic Philology and the Interpretation of the Old Testament
23. The Ancient Semitic Languages: The Conflict between Philology and Linguistics
24. Common Sense and Biblical Language
25. Etymology and the Old Testament
26. Limitations of Etymology as a Lexicographical Instrument in Biblical Hebrew
27. A New Look at Kethibh-Qere
28. Determination and the Definite Article in Biblical Hebrew
29. St Jerome s Appreciation of Hebrew
30. St Jerome and the Sounds of Hebrew
31. Migrash in the Old Testament
32. Ugaritic and Hebrew sbm?
33. One Man or All Humanity? A Question in the Anthropology of Genesis 1
34. Some Notes on ben ‘between’ in classical Hebrew
35. Hebrew d( especially at Job i.18 and Neh. vii.3
36. Why?’ in biblical Hebrew?
37. Is Hebrew ‘nest’ a Metaphor?
38. Hebrew Orthography and the Book of Job
39. Three Interrelated Factors in the Semantic Study of Ancient Hebrew
40. Scope and Problems in the Semantics of Classical Hebrew
41. Hebrew Lexicography
42. Hebrew Lexicography: Informal Thoughts
43. Philology and Exegesis: Some general Remarks, with Illustrations from Job iii
44. Review of J. Yahuda, Hebrew is Greek
45. Review articles on Koehler-Baumgartner, Hebraisches und Aramaisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament, parts 1 and 2
46. Review article on E Ullendorff, Is Biblical Hebrew a Language?
47. Review of J. Blau, Grammar of Biblical Hebrew

Have you ever seen a more comprehensive collection by a scholar more capable of such wide ranging interests and abilities?  The nice thing about all this is that you can start reading in the section which suits your interests.  So, naturally, I’ve started in Volume 2, Chapter VI.

I feel confident that I’ll have more to say about this as the weeks go by.

The Bee Stings the Anonymous Twitter Christian

A brave internet user has discovered a creative, unique, and winsome way to protect the Christian faith against error and heresy: an anonymous Twitter account.

Using the Twitter handle @PurestDoctrine4U, the person (who agreed to an interview Wednesday only if the secret of his or her identity would be maintained) says they stumbled across the idea from another anonymous account and, after deciding they should “carry that cross” as well, started one of their own.

That was several months ago, and @PurestDoctrine4U already has 43 followers.

The anonymous reformer’s tweets focus on “daringly correcting so-called Christians engaged in a vast array of problematic behaviors while courageously contending for the true faith by upholding only the purest doctrine,” as their bio explains.

“I have a Twitter account under my real name, too,” @PurestDoctrine4U revealed. “But when I use it to correct other Christians and criticize ministries, the replies I get distract me from my mission. I don’t want to explain why they are wrong. They just are.”

“The anon account allows me to serve the church body without the distraction of dealing with people,” the hero added.


Zwingli is the Best Candidate

You owe it to yourself to read this interview.

Sind Sie als Pfarrer werbeaffin?  Natürlich! Die Werbung ist seit 2000 Jahren unser Geschäft. Die heutigen Werbeagenturen sind nur Nachkommen unseres Stamms. Schon Paulus hat auf dem Marktplatz mündliche Werbung betrieben. Auch im Bereich Social Media waren wir vor allen anderen tätig. Wir haben schon in der Reformationszeit vor 500 Jahren mit dem damaligen Internet, mit dem Buchdruck, gearbeitet. Dadurch haben wir die Transformation der Gesellschaft veranlasst. Von daher sind wir nicht nur werbeaffin, sondern tatsächlich die Ursuppe der Werbung im abendländischen Kulturkreis.

In diesem Fall erachten Sie Huldrych Zwingli als guten Werber?  Nicht nur das: Er war neben Martin Luther der beste Werber überhaupt. Und er war ein Schlitzohr.

Wieso das?  Bleiben wir beim Beispiel Buchdruck. Schauen Sie sich seine Froschauer Bibel an – entwickelt während sechs Jahren im Chor des Grossmünsters. Das Produkt ist fantastisch: Er, der gegen Heiligendarstellungen in der Kirche war, hat gemerkt: Fürs Lesen, für den Geist, sind Bilder hochwillkommen.

And more.  It’s fantastic.

The Textual History of the New Testament and the Bible Translator

An interesting essay, free for now – here.

The present paper highlights the importance of attending to the ancient textual tradition within the process of translation. It argues that many of the scribes of the NT manuscripts perceived their own work in a similar light to many Bible translators today, since they considered clarity of communication to be one of their goals. For this reason, they often made emendations of a sort similar to those that are recommended to contemporary translators. Translators are able to derive benefit from attending carefully to the NT textual tradition to learn how ancient scribes understood the text and sought to communicate its meaning clearly to their readers.

In Memoriam Melanchthon

The greatest of the German Reformers (yes, greater than Luther) died on April 19, 1560.  As our Saxon friends write

Vor 456 Jahren starb der Reformator Philipp Melanchthon. Er war ein Überflieger, kein Zweifel. Mit 21 Jahren wurde Philipp Melanchthon, 1518, Professor für Griechisch an der Wittenberger Universität. Dort wurde er Begleiter des Reformators Martin Luther. Er schloss sich der Reformation an und nahm an allen entscheidenden Religionsgesprächen seiner Zeit teil.