Why Are Some Christian Theologians Beginning to Describe the Old Testament as Unimportant for Christian Faith?

And what evil does it portend?

Der evangelische Theologe Notger Slenczka sorgt mit einer Erklärung für Aufregung: Das Alte Testament sei für Christen nicht als heilig anzusehen. Der Historiker und Theologe Micha Brumlik warnt: Diese These entstammt einem antijudaistischen Christentum.

My question is- from whence stems this neo-gnostic ideology?

Philipp Gessler: Die Bibel, so haben es Christen seit bald 2.000 Jahren gelernt, besteht aus dem Neuen Testament, also vor allem aus den Evangelien, die die Geschichte Jesu erzählen, und dem Alten Testament, also den heiligen Schriften des Judentums. Altes und Neues Testament gehören zusammen. Gott, so sagt es der Glaube, hat den Christen in beiden Büchersammlungen Heilsnotwendiges mitgeteilt.

Der evangelische Theologe Notger Slenczka, ein Professor an der renommierten Humboldt-Universität in Berlin, erklärt nun: Kanonisch, das heißt, für Christen als heilig anzusehen, sei das Alte Testament am Ende nicht. Es sei eher wie die Apokryphen, also die Texte, die das frühe Christentum nicht in die Bibel aufgenommen hat, sagen wir es klarer, verworfen hat. Theologie-Professor Slenczka wird heftig von seinen Theologen-Kollegen wegen dieser These kritisiert – Nazi-Vergleiche fliegen durch den Raum, von antijudaistischen, also judenfeindlichen Anklängen ist die Rede.

Read it all. Or better, listen to it. Slenczka is, unfortunately, not alone.

The Scandal of a Male Bible: The Ethel M. Wood Lecture, King’s College London- David Clines

Bryan Bibb’s Lecture on Biblical Translation

Give it a hearing. Bryan is one of the brightest young Hebrew Bible scholars today. Anything he writes and any lecture he delivers is more than worth your time (so far anyway. No one knows what tomorrow holds. What if Bryan slips a cog and goes all Pat Robertson or Joel Osteen up in here? Come to think of it, maybe you better listen to him while you can, before he snaps].

It Was True In Amos’s Day And It’s True Today

They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, And they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.

Therefore, because you tread down the poor And take grain taxes from him, Though you have built houses of hewn stone, Yet you shall not dwell in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, But you shall not drink wine from them. For I know your manifold transgressions And your mighty sins: Afflicting the just and taking bribes; Diverting the poor from justice at the gate. Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time.

Seek good and not evil, That you may live; So the LORD God of hosts will be with you, As you have spoken. Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Therefore the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, says this: “There shall be wailing in all streets, And they shall say in all the highways,`Alas! Alas!’ They shall call the farmer to mourning, And skillful lamenters to wailing. In all vineyards there shall be wailing, For I will pass through you,” Says the LORD.  Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion, And a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, Leaned his hand on the wall, And a serpent bit him!  Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it? (Amos 5:10-20)

A New Book from the British Library on Codex Sinaiticus

This will be of interest to many, I imagine.  Ordering information is on the first page of the catalog available at this link for those outside the States and it can be obtained from Hendrickson in the States.


How Did the Writers of the New Testament Use the Old?

In a nutshell- allow me to explain it here as I do for students-

If you’re familiar with the old hymn ‘amazing grace’ if you hear the first few words the whole song is brought to mind. Similarly, phrases and allusions to the OT would serve in the early church (very literate concerning their scriptures, i.e., Torah, prophets, writings) to call to mind not simply a verse- but a context. Likewise, when Jesus cries out from the cross ‘my God, my God…’ etc, the Gospels call to the reader’s minds the whole context of Ps 22- which isn’t about defeat, but vindication and victory.

That’s how the Old Testament often functions in the New. It brings an entire context to mind and serves as theological commentary on whatever is being discussed or described by the New Testament authors. After all, they weren’t fools who thought they could quote things out of context. They knew what they were doing. They were better theologians than 99% of all theologians and better than 100% of modern theologians (post Brunner).

Proverbs: The Hebrew Bible- A Critical Edition

062401CProverbs: An Eclectic Edition with Introduction and Textual Commentary
Michael V. Fox
This first volume of The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition series features a critical text of Proverbs with extensive text-critical introductions and commentaries. This and future HBCE volumes bring together a scholar’s critical decisions into an eclectic text, drawing from many manuscripts or placing entire variant texts side by side. A common approach for critical editions of other ancient books, including the New Testament, the eclectic approach and scope used in the HBCE is a first of its BHQDEUTERkind for the Hebrew Bible.

Hardcover $69.95, ISBN 9781628370201
500 pages • The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition 1

The cover looks very much like that of BHQ, doesn’t it…

News For Our Friends the Dutchlanders

9789065393746-bijbel-hsv-studiebijbelDe eerste druk van de HSV-Studiebijbel werd gepresenteerd op 31 oktober 2014. De uitgave, waarvan prof. dr. M.J. Paul en prof. dr. T.M. Hofman de hoofdredactie hebben verzorgd, was binnen vier maanden al nagenoeg uitverkocht; een ongekende doorloop voor een studiebijbel in Nederland.

Royal Jongbloed heeft opdracht gegeven tot een herdruk in dezelfde kleurencombinatie van zwart en groen. “We hebben veel complimenten gekregen over de leesbaarheid”, aldus de uitgever. “Die is uitstekend ondanks de duizenden aantekeningen die als kanttekening onder de Bijbeltekst zijn geplaatst en de honderden verdiepende artikelen. De kwantiteit van aantekeningen is niet ten koste gegaan van de kwaliteit van het drukwerk. Ook de landkaartjes komen goed tot hun recht in de kleurencombinatie.”

De HSV-Studiebijbel is de meest omvattende studiebijbel in het Nederlandse taalgebied en is een belangrijk hulpmiddel voor persoonlijk bijbelgebruik. De Bijbel biedt een schat aan materiaal bij preek- en lesvoorbereiding van predikanten, bijbelstudiegroepen en docenten in het voortgezet en hbo/wo-onderwijs. De HSV-Studiebijbel bevat de complete tekst van de HSV, aangevuld met aantekeningen, inleidingen, kaartjes en artikelen. Een betrouwbaar, verstaanbaar en verdiepend hulpmiddel bij het lezen van de Bijbel.

Honestly who doesn’t love a masterfully done study Bible?  That’s right, no one sane.  Read more here.

Scribal Practices in the Ancient World

This post by our friends at CSST is very much worth your time:

In cooperation with the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster), team three of the CSTTorganized a workshop on Editorial Techniques in Light of Empirical Evidence. The workshop was held at Agora, a conference center by the Aasee (Lake Aa), in Münster on March 17-19, 2015.

The workshop focused on the question, How Ancient Scribes Inserted Larger Passages into Older Texts? In addition to all members of team three of the CSTT, the workshop included the following guest speakers: Prof. Anneli AejmelaeusProf. Stefan Schorch, Prof. Johan Lust and Prof. Holger Strutwolf. Several other scholars from Münster and elsewhere also attended the workshop.

Some of their findings are then discussed.

Was Passover originally an ancient Canaanite ritual to stop the rains?

An interesting essay in Ha’aretz today which relates the theory that the celebration of Passover may have developed in Canaan as an aspect of Baal worship –

Every year for some 2,000 years, Jews around the world have celebrated the Passover seder, marking the exodus of the Israelite slaves from Egypt. However, modern scholars suspect the holiday had a different, even more ancient origin, well before the Jewish people even took shape. According to tradition, the holiday’s origin is the Exodus: The night before the Jews left Egypt, God ordered Moses and Aaron to tell the Israelites to mark the event every year, in perpetuity. …

Some scholars speculate that Passover (the sacrifice of the animal) and the Holiday of Matza were once two separate holidays, one marked by nomadic shepherds and the other by farmers, celebrated in ancient times in ancient Canaan, before the Israelite people arose. However, as the Israelite culture gelled from disparate groups of nomadic herders and more sedentary farmers, these holidays would have been celebrated by the Israelite shepherds and farmers too.

Read the whole.


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