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Reading LukeTo celebrate the happiest time of the year (the beginning of school), I am going to give away a few books on Reading Acts. I gave Jake Bodet (@JakeBodet) a copy of The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts (Grand Rapids. Mich.: Baker Academic, 2013) edited by Joel B. Green and Lee Martin McDonald.

For this week’s giveaway, I have a copy of Reading Luke:Interpretation, Reflection, Formation edited by Craig Bartholomew, Joel B. Green, and Anthony C. Thiselton (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2005). This is the sixth volume coming from the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar and contains essays Luke and Acts from a wide range of scholars. Graham Stanton said the essays “offer fresh perspectives, especially on issues of method and interpretation. The essays are accessible to a wide readership, yet they are full of insights which will stimulate further reflection and research.”

This book is a brand new hardback and is my own copy. The only caveat is that the book has a different slip jacket than the picture above. I think it is the Paternoster (British) printing rather than the North American Zondervan printing. I cannot see any other differences.  I bought the book not realizing I already had the Zondervan edition, so my bad memory is your gain.

Same rules as last week: Enter by leaving a comment telling me which essay you will read first. On Tuesday September 8 I will randomly select one comment and ship the book out to the lucky winner. If you leave more than one comment, I will only count one comment per person for the contest.

Good Luck!

 

Table of Contents:

INTRODUCTION
The Hermeneutical Dynamics of ‘Reading Luke’ as Interpretation, Reflection, and Formation.
Anthony C. Thiselton

NARRATIVE, HISTORY, AND THEOLOGY
Learning Theological Interpretation from Luke.
Joel B. Green

The Purpose of Luke-Acts: Israel’s Story in the Context of the Roman Empire.
David Wenham

Preparing the Way of the Lord: Introducing and Interpreting Luke’s Narrative: A Response to David Wenham.
F. Scott Spencer

Reading Luke’s Gospel as Ancient Hellenistic Narrative: Luke’s Narrative Plan of Israel’s Suffering Messiah as God’s Saving Plan for the World.
David P. Moessner

LANGUAGE, PARABLES, AND LEVELS AND WAYS OF READING LUKE

Political and Eschatological Language in Luke.
I. Howard Marshall

The Role of Money and Possessions in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32): A Test Case.
John Nolland

Reading Luke, Hearing Jesus, Understanding God: Reflection on Hermeneutical Issues in Response to John Nolland.
Stephen I. Wright

A Critical Examination of David Bosch’s Missional Reading of Luke.
Michael W. Goheen.

DISTINCTIVE THEOLOGICAL THEMES IN LUKE-ACTS

Luke and the Spirit: Renewing Theological Interpretation of Biblical Pneumatology.
Max Turner

Kingdom and Church in Luke-Acts From Davidic Christology to Kingdom Ecclesiology.
Scott W. Hahn

A Canonical Approach to Interpreting Luke. The Journey Motif as a Hermeneutical Key.
Charles H. H. Scobie

Prayer in/and the Drama of Redemption in Luke: Prayer and Exegetical Performance.
Craig G. Bartholomew and Robby Holt

ISSUES IN RECEPTION HISTORY AND RECEPTION THEORY

The Reception and Use of the Gospel of Luke to the Second Century.
Francois Bovon.

Looking for Luke in the Second Century: A Dialogue with Francois Bovon
Andrew Gregory

Illuminating Luke: The Third Gospel as Italian Renaissance and Baroque Painting.
Heidi J. Hornik and Mikeal C. Parsons

World of NTTo celebrate the happiest time of the year (the beginning of school), I am going to give away a few books on Reading Acts. First up is The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts (Grand Rapids. Mich.: Baker Academic, 2013) edited by Joel B. Green and Lee Martin McDonald. This 640-page hardback collects 44 essays on various background issues. Larry Hurtado said this is “a valuable volume, especially for students and general readers but also for scholars who want to catch up on any of the topics included.”  As you can see from the Table of  Contents below, there are some excellent writers in the volume.

This book is brand new and is my own copy. To enter, simply leave a comment on this thread and tell me which essay you would most likely to read first if you win the book. I will generate a winner at random and announce that winner on August 31. Good luck!

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction – Joel B. Green and Lee Martin McDonald
2. New Testament Chronology – Lee Martin McDonald

Part 1: Setting the Context: Exile and the Jewish Heritage
3. Exile – Nicholas Perrin
4. The Hasmoneans and the Hasmonean Era – Larry R. Helyer
5. The Herodian Dynasty – Everett Ferguson
6. Monotheism – Nathan MacDonald
7. The Scriptures and Scriptural Interpretation – Lidija Novakovic

Part 2: Setting the Context: Roman Hellenism
8. Greek Religion – Moyer V. Hubbard
9. The Imperial Cult – Nicholas Perrin
10. Greco-Roman Philosophical Schools – John T. Fitzgerald
11. Civic and Voluntary Associations in the Greco-Roman World – Michael S. Moore
12. Economics, Taxes, and Tithes – David J. Downs
13. Slaves and Slavery in the Roman World – S. Scott Bartchy
14. Women, Children, and Families in the Roman World – Lynn H. Cohick
15. Education in the Greco-Roman World – Ben Witherington III

Part 3: The Jewish People in the Context of Roman Hellenism
16. Temple and Priesthood – David Instone-Brewer
17. Jews and Samaritans – Lidija Novakovic
18. Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes – Michelle Lee-Barnewall
19. The Dead Sea Scrolls – C. D. Elledge
20. Prophetic Movements and Zealots – James D. G. Dunn
21. Apocalypticism – Larry R. Helyer
22. Synagogue and Sanhedrin – Kenneth D. Litwak
23. Jews in the Diaspora – David A. deSilva
24. Noncanonical Jewish Writings – Daniel M. Gurtner
25. Jewish Identity, Beliefs, and Practices – Archie T. Wright
26. Jewish Education – Kent L. Yinger
27. Healing and Health Care – Joel B. Green

Part 4: The Literary Context of Early Christianity
28. Reading, Writing, and Manuscripts – E. Randolph Richards
29. Pseudonymous Writings and the New Testament – Lee Martin McDonald
30. Literary Forms in the New Testament – Thomas E. Phillips
31. Homer and the New Testament – Thomas E. Phillips
32. Josephus and the New Testament – Michael F. Bird
33. Philo and the New Testament – Torrey Seland
34. Rabbinic Literature and the New Testament – Bruce Chilton
35. Other Early Christian Writings – Nicholas Perrin

Part 5: The Geographical Context of the New Testament
36. Jesus Research and Archeology – James H. Charlesworth
37. Egypt – John D. Wineland
38. Palestine – Thomas R. Hatina
39. Syria, Cilicia, and Cyprus – Mark Wilson
40. The Province and Cities of Asia – Paul Trebilco
41. Galatia – Mark Wilson
42. Macedonia – Gene L. Green
43. Achaia – Gene L. Green
44. Rome and Its Provinces – Thomas Hatina

Additional Resources
Money in the New Testament Era
Measurements in the New Testament Era

00_PICKWICK_Template Marianne Blickenstaff of Union Presbyterian Seminary reviewed my Jesus the Bridegroom for Review of Biblical Literature. I am very happy to have her review the book, especially since I read her book, ‘While the Bridegroom is with them’ : Marriage, Family, Gender and Violence in the Gospel of Matthew (London: T&T Clark, 2005) at the very beginning stages of my research on the Wedding Banquet Parable and was influenced by her reading of the Banquet Parable in Matthew 22. I appreciate her very kind review.

She summarizes the book and concludes “This study is a compelling counterargument to scholarship that claims the church, and  not Jesus himself, developed the bridegroom and wedding banquet themes. Long has provided well-researched and convincing evidence that Jesus could have operated within Second Temple Jewish interpretive conventions to develop Hebrew Bible themes in new
ways to elucidate the purpose of his ministry.”

The full title of the book is Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels and is an edited version of my PhD dissertation. As I was working on my dissertation, people would ask what I was writing on. I usually said “an intertextual study on messianic banquet imagery in the Synoptic Gospels.” After a moment of awkward silence, I clarified: “Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Wedding Banquet – what’s up with that?” I considered that as a title for a (very) short time.

The book is now available through Amazon and the Wipf & Stock website. The book retails for $33, but Amazon and Wipf & Stock have it discounted. The Kindle version is only $9.99 and claims to have real page numbers. I have not seen a Kindle version yet. If you live in the Grand Rapids area, I have a few copies in my office if you want to get one directly from me.  If you do get the book, leave a nice review on Amazon, I would appreciate that.

Obviously I would love for you to buy a copy, but that is not always possible. Here’s how you can help get the word out for me:

Of course, I would really like to hear feedback from anyone who reads the book – feel free to send me an email to continue the discussion. Thanks!

Michael Bird - The Gospel of the LordIt is the time of year to be thankful, and I am thankful that I have an extra copy of Michael Bird’s new book, The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus (Eerdmans, 2014) to give away to some lucky reader of this blog. This is a new copy; mine is well read, marked and dog-eared by now. I will send a clean copy to a reader of this blog. There are no geographical limits here, although I am hoping someone from Antarctica does not win.

I plan on posted my review of the book in a few days, but for now let me say this is a nice introduction to several related topics at the foundation of Gospels studies, touching on related by diverse topics like Oral Tradition, Source Criticism, and the Genre of the Gospels. Each chapter has an excursus which digs a little deeper into some aspect of the chapter, so it is like getting two books in one. I highly recommend the book as an introduction to Synoptic Gospels study.

To have a chance at winning these books, leave a comment telling me what Famous Gospels Scholar you are most thankful for this Holiday season. Or at the very least, leave your name.  I will announce the winner picked at random on December 1.

jesot1The Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 3.1 (2014) has several interesting articles, including:

  • Nathan Lovell, “The Shape Of Hope In The Book Of Kings: The Resolution Of Davidic Blessing And Mosaic Curse”
  • Matthew R. Akers“The Soteriological Development Of The ‘Arm Of The Lord’ Motif”
  • Silviu Tatu“Making Sense Of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20)”
  • Andrew Witt “David, The ‘Ruler Of The Sons Of His Covenant’ (מושל בבני בריתו):  The Expansion Of Psalm 151 In 11QPsa”

The Journal also has a nice collection of book reviews (including two from me).

A PDF copy is free at the JESOT website, printed copies will be available through Wipf & Stock. The first two issues (Vol. 1) are available in the Logos library.

Logos BridegroomHere is some good news on my book, Jesus, the Bridegroom. It will be available in the Logos Library as a part of a two-book bundle. The “Wipf & Stock Eschatology Bundle” is on pre-order along with Jonathan Menn’s Biblical Eschatology. Menn is the  director of Equipping Church Leaders-East Africa, and his book runs over 600 pages! I guess I am the junior partner in this bundle at 300 pages. I hope that once my book is published in the Logos library it will become available separately, but it is exciting to see it on the Logos site.

Jesus the Bridegroom has been reviewed in a couple of places. I posted a notice of Peter J. Leithart’s review at  First Things a bit earlier. Don K. Preston reviewed the book at Amazon, saying he loves “the research that went into this. While Dr. Long’s emphasis is on ‘source’ and my focus is on theology, Nonetheless, I did find this book to be very helpful.I particularly appreciated the linguistic studies, showing the marital language that is used in some texts (e.g. especially Isaiah 4-5) that I had never seen before, and I truly appreciated it. His inter-textual notations were also fruitful. Long’s conclusion that Jesus drew together several strands of Jewish thought, and conflated those strands into a harmonious message, thus, suggesting that Jesus stood well within the framework of a Jewish prophet, is very good”

The book is available through Amazon and the Wipf & Stock website and retails for $33 (Amazon and Wipf & Stock sell it for discounted price). The Kindle version is only $9.99 and claims to have real page numbers, but I cannot see them reading the book with the Kindle App on an iPad. Still, the book looks great in Kindle. If you live in the Grand Rapids area, I have a few copies in my office if you want to get one directly from me.  If you do get the book, leave a nice review on Amazon, I would appreciate that.

Obviously I would love for you to buy a copy, but that is not always possible. Here’s how you can help get the word out for me:

What is the book about? The full title of the book is Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels. The book is an edited version of my dissertation. As I was working on my dissertation, people would ask what I was writing on. I usually said “an intertextual study on messianic banquet imagery in the Synoptic Gospels.” After a moment of awkward silence, I clarified: “Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Wedding Banquet – what’s up with that?”

The book attempts to study the marriage metaphor / motif in the teaching of Jesus. There are a few places in the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus describes the Kingdom of Heaven as a Wedding Banquet, Matt 22:1-14 and 25:1-13 are the most obvious texts. But there are a few places where Jesus describes himself as a bridegroom, and a marriage metaphor appears in a number of other places. My proposal is that Jesus combined the metaphor of an eschatological banquet with the common Old Testament marriage metaphor and described his ministry as an ongoing wedding banquet to which all Israel is now invited. The long period in the wilderness is over and it is time for Israel to return to her Bridegroom.

00_PICKWICK_TemplateIn order to make this case, I apply what might be called an intertextual method to traditions or set of metaphors. The “text” in this intertextual study is the Hebrew Bible, but that text was heard by Jesus’ original listeners rather than read. They knew the metaphors because they heard them taught in their homes and synagogues. Jesus used these metaphors because they were current, but by combining them to describe himself, he created a new image of the eschatological age as a wedding banquet.

I first examine the eschatological “victory banquet” motif in the Hebrew Bible, starting with Isa 25:6-8 (ch. 3), the use of the Wilderness Tradition in Isaiah 40-55 (ch. 4), and the Marriage Metaphor in Hosea, Isaiah and Jeremiah (ch. 5).  I trace the development of these three themes through the Second Temple Period in chapter 6, and finally apply that database to the sayings of Jesus in chapter 7.

There are a few things that you will not find in this book. First, I did not cover John’s gospel, although there is much there that can be described as “wedding motif.” My reason for this omission are simple-the dissertation was already too long to include another major section on John’s Gospel! Second, there is nothing in this book on the application of the Bridegroom metaphor to the church. I wanted a study of Jesus’ use of the metaphor, not the (much) later theological development of that metaphor. Again, the reason for this is simply that I was writing a New Testament dissertation, doing “biblical theology” rather than “systematic theology.” I wanted to focus on the teaching of Jesus and the origin of the wedding banquet metaphor.

I would really like to hear feedback from anyone who reads the book – feel free to send me an email to continue the discussion. Thanks!

00_PICKWICK_TemplatePeter J. Leithart at First Things reviewed my book, Jesus the Bridegroom. Despite being a revised dissertation, he calls it a “fine monograph” despite my “failure to incorporate the temple” into the study. Leithart says “He comes close to recognizing its centrality in several places (when he notices that Isaiah 41 lists the materials for tabernacle construction [86], or when he notes the connection between the “cloud” and the nuptial chamber in Isaiah 4 [122]), but he doesn’t follow through.”  Leithart says that the Temple “is a place of festivity, of marital covenant renewal, of enthronement of the divine Bridegroom in the trysting place in the wilderness.” Perhaps, but I am not sure that language appears in the Hebrew Bible, even if it does in later rabbinic reflections on the Temple. Nevertheless, I appreciate the nudge toward other evidence to support the thesis of the book.

The full title of the book is Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels. The book is an edited version of my dissertation. As I was working on my dissertation, people would ask what I was writing on. I usually said “an intertextual study on messianic banquet imagery in the Synoptic Gospels.” After a moment of awkward silence, I clarified: “Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Wedding Banquet – what’s up with that?”

The book is now available through Amazon and the Wipf & Stock website. The book retails for $33, but Amazon and Wipf & Stock have it discounted. The Kindle version is only $9.99 and claims to have real page numbers. I have not seen a Kindle version yet. If you live in the Grand Rapids area, I have a few copies in my office if you want to get one directly from me.  If you do get the book, leave a nice review on Amazon, I would appreciate that.

Obviously I would love for you to buy a copy, but that is not always possible. Here’s how you can help get the word out for me:

Of course, I would really like to hear feedback from anyone who reads the book – feel free to send me an email to continue the discussion. Thanks!

Logos Bible Software has a great deal on 24 “classic commentaries” on Mark. The current community price bid is $30 for all 24 volumes, so a lilttle more that a dollar a book.  Logos has produced a good number of these “classic” sets, providing a good value on resources that are not readily available. By getting in on the community price bid, you can get the books for far less than they will cost later.

By classic, they mean old (published between 1860–1954). Some of these are not particularly valuable; I am not sure I would purchase Arthur Ritchie’s Spiritual Studies in St. Mark’s Gospel even at a dollar a volume. (Ritchie was the rector at St. Ignatius’ Church in New York at the end of the 19th century and wrote several multi-volume “spiritual studies” sets.)  There are commentaries from Lyman Abbott and William Kelley; both were of interest when they were published but are quite dated. Some of the commentaries are of historical interest, however. Leicester Ambrose Sawyer’s First Gospel, Being the Gospel according to Mark (1864) is an interesting insight in to the state of Mark and Q studies int he mid-19th century.  Benjamin Bacon’s Is Mark a Roman Gospel? (Harvard University Press, 1919) is well worth a browse as well.

Marie-Joseph Lagrange

Marie-Joseph Lagrange

An added value for some scholars will be several foreign language commentaries. In French, the collection includes Marie-Joseph Lagrange (Évangile selon Saint Marc, 1935). Lagrange was the founder of the École Biblique in Jerusalem as well as the journal Revue Biblique in 1892.

There are three German commentaries as well. Reading these in the Logos format will be much easier since older German books were printed in the older letters (Fraktur). There are three German commentaries in the collection, including Julius Wellhausen’s Das Evangelium Marci übersetzt und erklärt,originally published in 1903. While Wellhausen is better known for his OT studies, this commentary on Mark is a significant contribution since he argues the priority of Mark against the hypothetical “Q” document. Another name associated with OT studies is included August Klostermann (Das Markusevangelium nach seinem Quellenwerthe für die evangelische Geschichte, 1867). Finally, the collection has a commentary by Bernard Weiss (Die Geschichtlichkeit des Markusevangelium, 1905).

Is the set worth $30? I think that it is, since I might have paid that for Lagrange and Wellhausen alone if I ran across them in a used book store. Head over to Logos, browse the list and decide for yourself.

Blomberg-Banner

Starting Monday March 17, various scholars will be commenting on Craig Blomberg’s new book from Brazos, Can We Still Believe the Bible? An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions. Blomberg offers answers for six common challenges to the Bible in a modern context including the reliability of the original manuscripts, the canon, Bible translations, inerrancy, historical reliability of narrative events, and the problem of miracles. Blomberg is well-known for his contributions to the study of the Gospels and has written numerous books on these sorts of issues. I have had a copy for a couple of weeks and think it will be a valuable resource for pastors and laymen who are looking to answer misinformation that commonly circulates about the trustworthiness of the Bible.

Can We Still BelieveOne thing that makes this book valuable is that Blomberg wants to answer the critics who make the Bible less reliable by questioning manuscript evidence, canon or translation methods, but also Christians who claim too much about the Bible on these issues. In addition to what might be called apologetic issues, Blomberg includes a chapter on miracles. This is more philosophical since the miraculous is usually ruled out a priori when critics approach the Bible. This chapter also deals with the idea of myth and how that may (or may not) relate to the stories we read in the Bible.

Brazos Press has set up a website for the book with and overview of the contents as well as a number of videos from Blomberg talking about some of the issues he covers in the book. The schedule for the Blog Tour includes contributions from Daniel Wallace, Ken Schenck, Joel Watts, Lee Martin McDonald, Darrell Bock, Michael Bird, Nijay Gupta, Matthew Montonini, David Capes, and Craig Keener. I was assigned chapter 3, on the reliability of English translations of the Bible. My comments on the chapter will appear here on Thursday, March 20.

As a promotion for the book, Brazos is giving away five copies of the book and a Grand Prize of four books from Baker Academic in addition to a copy of Can We Still Believe? You can enter the giveaway starting March 17, so visit the website and check it out.

This is some exciting news:  My book is now available through Amazon and the Wipf & Stock website. The book retails for $33, but Amazon and Wipf & Stock have it discounted. The Kindle version is only $9.99 and claims to have real page numbers. I have not seen a Kindle version yet. If you live in the Grand Rapids area, I have a few copies in my office if you want to get one directly from me.  If you do get the book, leave a nice review on Amazon, I would appreciate that.

00_PICKWICK_TemplateThe full title of the book is Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels. The book is an edited version of my dissertation. As I was working on my dissertation, people would ask what I was writing on. I usually said “an intertextual study on messianic banquet imagery in the Synoptic Gospels.” After a moment of awkward silence, I clarified: “Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Wedding Banquet – what’s up with that?”

The book attempts to study the marriage metaphor / motif in the teaching of Jesus. There are a few places in the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus describes the Kingdom of Heaven as a Wedding Banquet, Matt 22:1-14 and 25:1-13 are the most obvious texts. But there are a few places where Jesus describes himself as a bridegroom, and a marriage metaphor appears in a number of other places. My proposal is that Jesus combined the metaphor of an eschatological banquet with the common Old Testament marriage metaphor and described his ministry as an ongoing wedding banquet to which all Israel is now invited. The long period in the wilderness is over and it is time for Israel to return to her Bridegroom.

In order to make this case, I apply what might be called an intertextual method to traditions or set of metaphors. The “text” in this intertextual study is the Hebrew Bible, but that text was heard by Jesus’ original listeners rather than read. They knew the metaphors because they heard them taught in their homes and synagogues. Jesus used these metaphors because they were current, but by combining them to describe himself, he created a new image of the eschatological age as a wedding banquet.

I first examine the eschatological “victory banquet” motif in the Hebrew Bible, starting with Isa 25:6-8 (ch. 3), the use of the Wilderness Tradition in Isaiah 40-55 (ch. 4), and the Marriage Metaphor in Hosea, Isaiah and Jeremiah (ch. 5).  I trace the development of these three themes through the Second Temple Period in chapter 6, and finally apply that database to the sayings of Jesus in chapter 7.

There are a few things that you will not find in this book. First, I did not cover John’s gospel, although there is much there that can be described as “wedding motif.” My reason for this omission are simple-the dissertation was already too long to include another major section on John’s Gospel! Second, there is nothing in this book on the application of the Bridegroom metaphor to the church. I wanted a study of Jesus’ use of the metaphor, not the (much) later theological development of that metaphor. Again, the reason for this is simply that I was writing a New Testament dissertation, doing “biblical theology” rather than “systematic theology.” I wanted to focus on the teaching of Jesus and the origin of the wedding banquet metaphor.

Obviously I would love for you to buy a copy, but that is not always possible. Here’s how you can help get the word out for me:

Of course, I would really like to hear feedback from anyone who reads the book – feel free to send me an email to continue the discussion. Thanks!

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About Me

Phillip J. Long

Phillip J. Long

I am a college professor who enjoys reading, listening to music and drinking fine coffee. Often at the same time. Author of Jesus the Bridegroom(Wipf & Stock 2014).

My book Jesus the Bridegroom is now available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle

ACI Profile for Phillip J. Long

Christian Theology

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