Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Bible Interpretation Without the Bible?


I wonder if it would be better to teach my “Bible Interpretation” class using texts from outside the Bible.  Essentially the aim of the course is to teach methods, goals and practices of good interpretation and if I could cover the same exercises without using the Bible, then they could take those same methods and apply them to the bible.  The assessments could still be focussed on biblical texts but the class room analysis could be on texts unfamiliar to the student.  We could use texts from ANE, Dead Sea Scrolls and the Apostolic Fathers in our classroom exercises, texts from similar historical, cultural, and ideological environments in which the Bible was written.  The benefit of this approach would be that students would have no theological/ideological investment in the specific “meaning” of these texts, since most of them would be unfamiliar with these writings and have no vested interest in their interpretation.  There could be a sustained focus on texts that aid our interpretation of the Bible and also this would alert students to the various texts which provide the necessary ideological, historical and cultural matrix within which biblical writings are to be understood. 

 

Thoughts?  What am I missing? 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thessalonian Letters - Bibliography - Miscellaneous

Since I'm teaching a paper on the Thessalonian letters, I'd thought I'd blog the bibliography that I've compiled.  Please let me know if I've missed anything. 
 

 Conference Papers on the Thessalonian Letters
Harrison, James R. “‘The Ultimate Sinner’: Paul & the Antichrist in Political Context,” Delivered at the 125th SBL Annual Meeting 2005, Philadelphia, in the “Paul and Politics’ section. Available Online:   www.thepaulpage.com/The%20Ultimate%20Sinner.pdf
Johnson, E. Elisabeth. “Paul’s Reliance on Scripture in 1 Thessalonians,” Paper presented at Society of  Biblical  Literature, New Orleans, 2009.  Accessed, 24 September, 2010-09-25:  www.westmont.edu/~fisk/paulandscripture/Johnson-Paul's_Reliance_on_Scripture_in_1_Thessalonians.pdf


Websites and Online Commentaries
John Chrysostom on Thessalonians: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf113.html
John Calvin on Thessalonians: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/calvin/cc42/cc42017.htm


Downloadable Commentaries at Internet Archive:
Denney, James. The Epistles to the Thessalonians. Expositor’s Bible. Hodder & Stoughton, 1897.
Eadie, John. A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians. London: Macmillan,  1877.
Ellicott, Charles J. St. Paul’s Epistles to the Thessalonians. London: Longman, 1866.
Frame, James E. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. ICC.  Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1912.
Jowett, Benjamin. The Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, Galatians, Romans. London: J. Murray, 1859.
Milligan, George. St. Paul’s Epistles to the Thessalonians. London: Macmillan, 1908.
Plummer, Alfred. A Commentary on St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Thessalonians. London: R. Scott, 1914.


Online Audio Sermons
1 Thessalonians from the Gospel Coalition:
http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/scripture-index/a/1+thessalonians

2 Thessalonians from the Gospel Coalition:
http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/scripture-index/a/2+thessalonians


Other Web Resources
NT GATEWAY: http://www.ntgateway.com/paul-the-apostle/1-and-2-thessalonians/


Other Articles of Interest
Barclay, John M. G. “Mirror Reading a Polemical Letter: Galatians as a Test Case,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament. 31 (1987): 73-93.
Funk, R. W. “The Apostolic Parousia: Form and Significance,” in Christian History and Interpretation: Studies  Presented to John Knox, ed. W. R. Farmer, C. F. D. Moule, R. R. Niebuhr. Cambridge: University Press, 1967, 249-68.
Harding, J. K. “Decrees and Drachmas at Thessalonica: An Illegal Assembly in Jason's House (Acts 17.1–10a)”  New Testament Studies 52 (2006), 29-49.
Hock, R.F. “The Workshop as a Social Setting for Paul's Missionary Preaching,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41 (1979): 438-50.
Judge, E. A. “The Decrees of Caesar at Thessalonica” Reformed Theological Review 30 (1971), 1-7.
Lassen, Eva Maria. “The Use of the Father Image in Imperial Propaganda and 1 Corinthians 4:14-21,” Tyndale Bulletin 42.1 (1991), 127-136.
Pahl, Michael W. “The ‘Gospel’ and the ‘Word’: Exploring Some Early Christian Patterns” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 29.2 (2006), 211-227. 
Stowers, S. K. “Social Status, Public Speaking and Private Teaching: The Circumstances of Paul’s Preaching Activity.” Novum Testamentum 26 (1984), 59-82.
Sumney, Jerry L. “Paul’s ‘Weakness’: An Integral Part of His Conception of Apostleship,” Journal for the Study of  the New Testament 52 (1993), 71-91.
Weima, Jeffrey A. D. “The Pauline Letter Closings: Analysis and Hermeneutical Significance,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995), 177-198.
Weima, Jeffrey A. D. “What does Aristotle Have to do with Paul? An Evaluation of Rhetorical Criticism” Calvin Theological Journal 32 (1997): 458-68.



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thessalonian Letters - Bibliography - Foreign Language Commentaries

Since I'm teaching a paper on the Thessalonian letters, I'd thought I'd blog the bibliography that I've compiled.  Please let me know if I've missed anything. 


Bickmann, J. Kommunikation gegen den Tod. Studien zur paulinischen Briefpragmatik am Beispiel des Ersten  Thessalonicherbriefes. FzB 86; Würzburg: Echter, 1998.
Dewailly, L.-M. La jeune Église de Thessalonique. Les deux premières épîtres de saint Paul. LeDiv 37; Paris: Cerf, 1963.
Dibelius, M. An die Thessalonicher I, II, an die Philipper. HNT 11; Tübingen: Mohr, 31937.
Haufe, G. Der erste Brief des Paulus an die Thessalonicher. ThHK 12/1; Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1999.
Holtz, T. Der erste Brief an die Thessalonicher. EKK 13; Zürich – Neukirchen-Vluyn: Benziger – Neukirchener, 1986.
Légasse, S. Les épîtres de Paul aux Tessaloniciens. LeDiv Commentaires 7; Paris: Cerf, 1999.
Marxsen, W. Der erste Brief an die Thessalonicher. ZBK.NT 11/1; Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1979; tr. it. La  prima lettera ai Tessalonicesi. Guida alla lettura del primo scritto del Nuovo Testamento. Parola per l’uomo d’oggi 6; Torino: Claudiana, 1988.
Marxsen, W. Der zweite Brief an die Thessalonicher. ZBK.NT 11/2; Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 1982.
Müller, P.-G. Der erste und zweite Brief an die Thessalonicher. RNT; Regensburg: Pustet, 2001.
Schürmann, H. Die erste Brief an die Thessalonicher. GSL.NT 13; Leipzig: St. Benno, 1961.
Staab, K. Die Thessalonicherbriefe, Die Gefangenschaftsbriefe. RNT 7/1; Regensburg: Pustet, 51969.
Trilling, W. Der zweite Brief an die Thessalonicher. EKK 14; Zürich: Benziger, 1980.
von Dobschütz, E. Die Thessalonicher-Briefe. KEK 10; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 71909, 1974.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thessalonian Letters - Bibliography - Chapters in Books

Since I'm teaching a paper on the Thessalonian letters, I'd thought I'd blog the bibliography that I've compiled.  Please let me know if I've missed anything. 

Donfried, Karl P. “The Imperial Cults of Thessalonica and Political Conflict in 1 Thessalonians” in Paul and  Empire:  Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society. Eds. R. A. Horsley. Pennsylvania: Trinity  Press International, 1997, 215-223.
Fee, G. D. “Christology in the Thessalonian Correspondence” Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2007, 31-83.
Fee, G. D. “The Thessalonian Correspondence” in God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, 39-80.
Furnish, V. P. “The Spirit in 2 Thessalonians” in The Holy Spirit and Christian Origins: Essays in Honour of J. D.  G. Dunn.  Edited by G. N. Stanton; B. W. Longenecker & S. C. Barton. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004, 229-240.
Jervis, L. A.  “1 Thessalonians” in At the Heart of the Gospel: Suffering in the Earliest Christian Message.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007, 1-36.
Koester, Helmut “Imperial Ideology and Paul’s Eschatology in 1 Thessalonians” in Paul and Empire: Religion and Power in Roman Imperial Society  Edited by R. A. Horsley. Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 1997, 158-166.
Manson, T. W. “The Letters to the Thessalonians” in Studies in the Gospels and Epistles. Ed. M. Black.  Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1962, 259-278.
Marshall, I Howard. “Pauline Theology in the Thessalonian Correspondence” in Paul and Paulinism: Essays In honour C.K. Barrett. Edited by M. D. Hooker, and S. G. Wilson, London: SPCK, 1982, 173-183.
Rosner, B. “Seven Questions for Paul’s Ethics: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 as a Case Study” in Understanding Paul’s Ethics: Twentieth-Century Approaches. Edited by B. Rosner.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995, 351-360.
Wiles, G. “Function of the wish-prayers in I Thessalonians” in Paul’s Intercessory Prayers: The Significance of  the Intercessory Passages in the Letters of St. Paul.  Cambridge: CUP, 1974  45-71.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Thessalonian Letters - Bibliography - Journal Articles

Since I'm teaching a paper on the Thessalonian letters, I'd thought I'd blog the bibliography that I've compiled.  Please let me know if I've missed anything. 
 
Adams Jr., E. Randall  “Preaching from 1 and 2 Thessalonians,” South Western Journal of Theology 42 (1999), 66-78.
Adams, Sean A. “Evaluating 1 Thessalonians: An Outline of Holistic Approaches to 1 Thessalonians in the Last 25  Years,” Currents in Biblical Research 8:1 (2009), 51-70.
Ascough, Richard S. ‘The Thessalonian Christian Community as a Professional Voluntary Association,” Journal of Biblical Literature 119 (2000), 311–28.
Ascough, Richard S. “A Question of Death: Paul’s Community-Building Language in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18,” Journal of Biblical Literature 123:3 (2004), 509-530.
Aus, Roger. “The Litrugical Background of the Necessity and Propriety of Giving Thanks According to 2 Thes 1:3,” Journal of Biblical Literature 92 (1972-3), 432-438.
Barclay, John M. G. “Conflict in Thessalonica,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 55 (1993), 512–30.
Barclay, John M. G. “Thessalonica and Corinth: Social Contrasts in Pauline Christianity,” Journal for the Study of  the New Testament 47 (1992), 49–74.
Bassler, Jouette M. “The Enigmatic Sign: 1 Thessalonians 1:5,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 46 (1984), 496-510.
Black, David Alan. “The Literary Structure of 1 and 2 Thessalonians,” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 3.3 (1994), 46-57.
Black, David Alan. “The Weak in Thessalonica: A Study in Pauline Lexicography” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 25:3 (1982), 307-321.
Bockmuehl, Markus. “1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 and the Church in Jerusalem,” Tyndale Bulletin 52.1 (2001), 1-31.
Burke, Trevor J. “Pauline Paternity in 1 Thessalonians,” Tyndale Bulletin 51.1 (2000), 59-80.
Criswell, W. A. “Make it a Matter of Prayer: 1 Thessalonians 5:17,” Criswell Theological Review 1:1 (2003), 105-10.
Currie, Thomas W. “1 Thessalonians 5:12-24,” Interpretations (2006), 446-449.
DeSilva, David A. “‘Worthy of His Kingdom’: Honour Discourse and Social Engineering in 1 Thessalonians,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 64 (1997), 49-79
Donfried, K. P. “The Cults of Thessalonica and the Thessalonian Correspondence,” New Testament Studies 31 (1985), 336–56.
Edson, Charles. “Cults of Thessalonica,” Harvard Theological Review 41:3 (1948), 153-204.
Fowl, Stephen. “A Metaphor in Distress: A Reading of NEPIOI in 1 Thessalonians 2:7.” NTS 36 (1990), 469-473.
Fredrickson, David. “Passionless Sex in 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5,” Word & World 23:1 (2003), 23-30.
Fudge, Edward. “The Final End of the Wicked,’ Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 27:3 (1984), 325-334.
Gieschen, Charles A.. “Christian identity in a pagan Thessalonica: the imitation of Paul's cruciform life” Concordia Theological Quarterly, 72:1 (2008), 3-18.
Goulder, Michael D. “Silas in Thessalonica,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 48 (1993), 87-106.
Gregory, Andrew. “A Theological Approach to Thessalonians,” Expository Times 117 (2006), 411-412.
Gundry, Robert H. “A Brief Note on “Hellenistic Formal Receptions and Paul’s Use of APANTHSIS  in 1 Thessalonians 4:17,” Bulletin of Biblical Research 6 (1996), 39-41.
Gupta, Nijay. “An Apocalyptic Reading of Psalm 78 in 2 Thessalonians 3,”  Journal for the Study of the New Testament 31 (2008), 179-194.
Harrison, James R. “Paul and the Imperial Gospel at Thessaloniki” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 25.1 (2002), 71-96.
Heath, Jane M. F. “Absent Presences of Paul and Christ: Enargia in 1 Thessalonians 1-3,” Journal for the Study of  the New Testament 32:1 (2009), 3-8.
Hendrix, Holland “Benefactor/Patron Networks in the Urban Environment: Evidence from Thessalonica,” Semeia 56 (1991), 39-58.
Johnson, E. Elizabeth. “Preaching in 1 Thessalonians,” Journal for Preachers 28:3 (2005), 20-26.
Kaye, B. N. “Eschatology and Ethics in 1 and 2 Thessalonians” Novum Testamentum 17:1 (1975), 47-57.
Koester, Helmut “1 Thessalonians – Experiment in Christian Writing” in Continuity and Discontinuity in Church History: Essays presented to G. H. Williams (Leidin: Brill, 1979), 33-44.
Krentz, Edgar. “Evangelism and Spirit: 1 Thessalonians 1” Currents in Theology and Mission 14:1 (1987), 22-30.
McKinnish Bridges, Linda. “Terms of Endearment: Paul’s Words of Comfort in First Thessalonians,” Review and  Expositor 96 (1999), 211-232.
Malbon, Elizabeth Struthers. ““No Need to Have Any One Write”?: A Structural Exegesis of 1 Thessalonians,” Semeia 26 (1983), 56-83.
Malherbe, A. J. “Exhortation in First Thessalonians,” Novum Testamentum 25 (1983), 238–56.
Malherbe, A. J. ““Gentile as a Nurse”: The Cynic Background to 1 Thess 2,” Novum Testamentum 12 (1970), 204-217.
Malherbe, A. J. “Paul: Hellenistic Philosopher or Christian Pastor?” Anglican Theological Review, 68:1 (1986), 3- 13.
Martin, M. “‘Example’ and ‘Imitation’ in the Thessalonian Correspondence,” South Western Journal of Theology 42 (1999), 39-49.
May, David. ““You Cannot Hide the Soul”: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22,” Review and Expositor 96 (1999), 277-85.
Mearns, C. L. “Early Eschatological Development in Paul: The Evidence of I and II Thessalonians,” New  Testament Studies 27 (1980–1), 137–57.
Menken, M. J. J. “Paradise Regained or Still Lost? Eschatology and Disorderly Behaviour in 2 Thessalonians,” New  Testament Studies 38 (1992), 271–89.
Otey, Rush. “An Invitation to 1 Thessalonians,” Pentecost (1995), 39-41.
Patte, Daniel. “Method for a Structural Exegesis of Didactic Discourses: Analysis of 1 Thessalonians,” Semeia 26 (1983), 85-136.
Polhill, John B. “Hope in the Lord: Introduction to 1-2 Thessalonians,” South Western Journal of Theology 3:3 (1999), 22-44.
Polythress, Vern S. “‘2 Thessalonians 1 Supports Amillenianism,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37:4 (1994), 529-538.
Porter, Stanley, E. “Developments in German and French Thessalonians Research: A Survey and Critique,” Currents in Research 7 (1999), 309-34.
Powell, Charles E. “The Identity of the “Restrainer” in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7,” Bibliotheca Sacra 154 (1997), 320-32.
Quarles, Charles L. “The APO of 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and the Nature of Eternal Punishment,” Westminster Theological Journey 59 (1997), 201-11.
Reinhartz, Adele. “On the Meaning of the Pauline Exhortation: ‘mimētai mou ginesthe – become imitators of  me’,” Studies in Religion 16 (1987), 393-403.
Roose, Hanna. “‘A Letter as by Us’: Intentional Ambiguity in 2 Thessalonians 2.2,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 29.1 (2006), 107-124.
Richards, E. Randolph. “Ministering in a Tough Place: Paul's Pattern in Thessalonica,” South Western Journal of Theology 42 (1999), 17-38.
Seifrid, Mark A. “Faith, Hope, and Love: Paul’s Message to the Church at Thessalonica,” Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 3:3 (1999), 58-64.
Skeen, Judy. “Not as Enemies, But Kin: Discipline in the Family of God—2 Thessalonians 3:6-10,” Review and Expositor 96 (1999), 287-294.
Smith, Jay E. “1 Thessalonians 4:4: Breaking the Impasse,” Bulletin of Biblical Research 11.1 (2001), 65-105.
Smith, Jay E. “Another Look at 4Q416 2 ii.21, a Critical Parallel to First Thessalonians 4:4,’ Catholic Biblical Quarterly 63 (2001), 499-504.
Stacy, R. Wayne. “Introduction to the Thessalonian Correspondences,” Review and Expositor 96 (1999), 175-194.
Still, Todd D. “Eschatology in the Thessalonian Letters,” Review and Expositor 96 (1999), 195-210.
Still, Todd D. “Interpretive Ambiguities and Scholarly Proclivities in Pauline Studies: A Treatment of Thee Texts from 1 Thessalonians 4 as a Test Case,” Currents in Biblical Research 5.2 (2007), 207-219.
Still, Todd D.  “Paul's Thessalonian Mission,” South Western Journal of Theology 42 (1999), 4-16.
Vang, Preben  “Sanctification in Thessalonians,” South Western Journal of Theology 42 (1999), 50-65.
Walton, Steve. “What has Aristotle to do with Paul? Rhetorical Criticism and 1 Thessalonians,” Tyndale Bulletin 46.2  (1995), 229-250.
Wanamaker, Charles. ““Like A Father Treats His Own Children”: Paul and the Conversion of the Thessalonians,” Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 92 (1995), 46-56.
Ware, James “The Thessalonians as a Missionary Congregation: 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 83 (1992): 126- 31.
Waternman, G. Henry. “The Sources of Paul’s Teaching on the 2nd Coming of Christ in 1 and 2 Thessalonians,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 18:2 (1975), 105-113.
Weima, Jeffrey A. D. ‘An Apology for the Apologetic Function of 1 Thessalonians 2.1-12” Journal for the Study of  the New Testament 68 (1998), 73-99.
Weima, Jeffrey A. D. “Infants, Nursing Mother, and Father: Paul’s portrayal of a Pastor,” Calvin Theological Journal 37 (2002), 209-229.
Weima, Jeffrey A. D. “The Slaying of Satan’s Superman and the Sure Salvation of the Saints: Paul’s Apocalyptic Word of Comfort (2 Thessalonians 2:1-17),” Calvin Theological Journal 41 (2006), 67-88.
Weima, Jeffrey A. D. “‘How You Must Walk to Please God': Holiness and Discipleship in 1 Thessalonians” in Patterns of Discipleship in the New Testament (ed. Richard N. Longenecker; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 98-119.
Winter, Bruce W. “‘If a man does not wish to work…’ A Cultural and Historical Setting for 2 Thessalonians 3:6-16,”Tyndale Bulletin 40 (1989), 303-315.
Winter, Bruce W. “The Entries and Ethics of Orators and Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12),” Tyndale Bulletin 44.1 (1993), 55-74.
Yarbrough. Robert W. “Sexual Gratification in 1 Thess 4:1-8” Trinity Journal 20.2 (1999), 215-232.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thessalonian Letters - Bibliography - Monographs

Since I'm teaching a paper on the Thessalonian letters, I'd thought I'd blog the bibliography that I've compiled.  Please let me know if I've missed anything. 
 
Ascough, Richard Paul’s Macedonian Associations: The Social Context of Philippians & 1 Thessalonians. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament, 2003.
Beutler, J. and K. P. Donfried, The Thessalonians Debate: Methodological Discord or Methodological Synthesis? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.
Burke, Trevor J. Family Matters : A Socio-Historical Study of Fictive Kinship Metaphors in 1 Thessalonians. New York: T & T Clark International, 2003.
Collins R. F. (ed.), The Thessalonian Correspondence. BEThL 87; Leuven: Peeters, 1990.
Collins, R. F. Studies on the First Letter to the Thessalonians. BEThL 66; Leuven: Peeters, 1984.
Donfried, K. P. Paul, Thessalonica and Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
Donfried, Karl P., and I. Howard Marshall. The Theology of the Shorter Pauline Letters. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Donfried K. P. and J. Beutler, Eds., The Thessalonians Debate: Methodological Discord or Methodological Synthesis?Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.
Holland, G. S. The Tradition that You Received from Us. 2 Thessalonians in the Pauline Tradition. HUTh 24; Tübingen: Mohr, 1988.
Huges, F. W. Early Christian Rhetoric and 2 Thessalonians. Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplemant 30; Sheffield: JSOT, 1989.
Jewett, R. K. The Thessalonian Correspondence: Pauline Rhetoric and Millenarian Piety. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1986.
Malherbe, A. J. Paul and the Thessalonians. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1987.
Nicholl, Colin R. From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Society for New  Testament Studies Monograph Series 126. Cambridge: CUP, 2003.
Pahl, Michael W. Discerning the 'Word of the Lord': The 'Word of the Lord' in 1 Thessalonians 4:15. Library of New Testament Studies 389. London: T. & T. Clark, 2009.
Still, Todd D. Conflict at Thessalonica: A Pauline Church and Its Neighbours.  Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 183. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999.
Walton, Stephen J. Leadership and lifestyle: the portrait of Paul in the Miletus speech and I Thessalonians.  Cambridge: CUP, 2000.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thessalonian Letters - Bibliography - Commentaries

Since I'm teaching a paper on the Thessalonian letters, I'd thought I'd blog the bibliography that I've compiled.  Please let me know if I've missed anything. 
 

Beale, Gregory K. 1-2 Thessalonians. IVP New Testament Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2010.
Best, Earnest. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Black's New Testament Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995.
Bruce, F.F. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Word Biblical Commentary vol. 45. Waco: Word Books, 1982.
Calvin, John. 1, 2 Thessalonians. Calvin's Commentaries.  n.p.: Crossway Books, 1999.
Elias, Jacob W. 1 & 2 Thessalonians.  n.p.: Herald Press, 1995.
Ellingworth, P. & Nida, Eugene A. A Handbook on Paul's Letters to the Thessalonians. UBS Handbooks Helps for  Translators. United Bible Society, 1994.
Fee, Gordon D. The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians. New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
Frame, James E. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St Paul to the Thessalonians.  International Critical Commentary. London: T&T Clark, 1960.
Furnish, V. P.  1 & 2 Thessalonians, Abingdon New Testament Commentaries.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2007.
Gaventa, Beverly Roberts. First and Second Thessalonians.  Interpretation Commentary. Louisville: John Knox, 1998.
Green, G. L.  The Letters to the Thessalonians. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
Holmes, Michael. 1 & 2 Thessalonians. The NIV Application Commentary.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.
Jensen, Irving L. 1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Self-Study Guide. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999.
Martin, D. Michael. 1 & 2 Thessalonians, New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman/Holman, 1995.
Malherbe, A. J. The Letters to the Thessalonians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor  Bible  Commentary 32B; New York: Doubleday, 2000.
Marshall, I. Howard. 1 and 2 Thessalonians. New Century Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983.
Morris, Leon. 1 & 2 Thessalonians, New International Commentary on the New Testament. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
McKinnish Bridges, L.  1 & 2 Thessalonians. Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary.  Georgia: Smyth & Helwys, 2008.
Neil, William. The Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians. Moffatt Commentary. Harper and Brothers, 1950.
Richard, Earl J. First and Second Thessalonians. Sacra Pagina 11. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1995.
Stott, John R. 1 and 2 Thessalonians: Living in the End Times Downers. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998.
Wanamaker, Charles A. The Epistles to the Thessalonians, New International Greek Text Commentary. Grand  Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1994.
Williams, David J., and Gasque, Ward.  1 & 2 Thessalonians, New International Biblical Commentary.  Peabody,  Massachusetts: Hendrickson, 1994.
Witherington, Ben. 1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.
Woolsey, Warren. 1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Bible Commentary in the Wesleyan Tradition. Wesley Press, 1997.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Worship and Theology


Sean du Toit :: Alphacrucis :: 2013


There is a necessary relationship to the theology that we have and the worship to God that we give.  Theology shapes and informs our worship of God.  All authentic worship assumes a theology.  I wish to go further and suggest that theology itself is a form of worship.  Listen to what Jesus says in John’s gospel: 
 
John 4:23-24   But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.”
 
Every time we declare truth about God, it is an act of worship.  In the verbal and, ethical, individual and communal proclamation of the truth about who God is and what God has done for humanity, we are engaged in acts of worship.  John’s gospel is itself a theological reflection on the truth about the identity of God revealed in Jesus through the revelatory agency of the Spirit to the community gathered to worship and encounter God.  John’s gospel is thus a declaration of worship, enticing those who hear to enter into communion with God.  The vivid metaphors employed throughout are possibly strongest in the Eucharistic sections of John 6 where hearers are instructed to feast on the very body of Jesus, a feast of intimacy with God.  However, that intimacy is developed and maintained through theological reflection on the Christ event revealed throughout John’s gospel and Jesus’ teaching.  There is therefore a dynamic interplay between theology and worship throughout the gospel that invites those with ears to hear to come and taste and see that the Lord is good.  As N. T. Wright has perceptively noted that,
When you begin to glimpse the reality of God, the natural reaction is to worship him.  Not to have that reaction is a fairly sure sign that you haven’t yet really understood who he is or what he’s done.[1]
 
John’s explicit purpose in this gospel is to evoke a continued relationship of trust in Jesus. 
 
John 20:31      This is written so that you may [] trust that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through trusting you may have life in his name.
 
The subjunctive πιστεύ[σ]ητε may either suggest “come to trust” or “continue to trust” that Jesus is who this gospel declares he is.  We need not quibble over the options as it is probably both.  But that means that an explicit purpose of this gospel is to feed the faithfulness, memory and imagination of God’s people with the truth about God so that they may continue to trust him and rely on him for life through him.  Worship sustains the community of God by facilitating an encounter with God and declaring truth about God.  Furthermore, lyrical theology, i.e., the words of the songs we sing, should give voice to the theology that shapes the life and practices of the church.  It is for this reason that Karl Barth declares that,
Theology is a particularly beautiful discipline.  Indeed, we can confidently say that it is the most beautiful of all disciplines.  To find academic study distasteful is the mark of the philistine.  The theologian who labours without joy is not a theologian at all.  Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this field.[2]
 
Joy and exciting thoughts must accompany the theologian for it is upon reflection of God given in Scripture that the theologian must wrestle with theology and construct imaginative portraits of this encountering God that remain in sync and faithful to the revelation of God throughout Scripture.  Vanhoozer aptly notes that “To witness to the love of God is the Christian theologian’s supreme privilege and supreme responsibility.”[3] 
 
Declaring truths about God which are faithful and in sync with the Scriptural revelation, are themselves an act of worship to the One who is worthy of our attention, affection and allegiance.  The very act of theology must be an act of worship because God is no object to be studied but rather as humble subjects we contemplate the supreme excellency of the divine nature (to echo Jonathan Edwards).  This God who came for us, and revealed Himself to us in many and varied ways of love and salvation, healing and compassion is worthy of our worship.  Stating that God is loving, saving, healing and compassionate is in sync with the truth of the Scriptural revelation, and thus reaffirms the character of God which is thus an act of worship itself. 
 
If we return to John 4:23-24 we notice the central role of the Spirit.  In John’s gospel, it is the role of the Spirit to reveal to us the identity of God and ourselves, but it is also the role of the Spirit to connect us to God (John 20:22).  The Spirit facilitates an encounter with God as the revealing God.  And truth about God is a medium through which God speaks and encounters his people.  The Spirit thus reveals truth, declares truth and inspires truth. 
 
There is therefore a dynamic interplay between theology and worship.  Theology not only inspires worship, but is itself an act of worship.  This worship causes us to further reflect on the God who is worthy of our worship, and thus inspires further theological reflection. 




[1] N. T. Wright, Simply Christian, (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), 123.
[2] Barth, Church Dogmatics II/1, 656.

[3] Kevin J. Vanhoozer, “The Love of God: Its Place, Meaning and Function in Systematic Theology” in First Theology: God, Scripture and Hermeneutics (Illinois: IVP, 2002), 95.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Letter Carriers - Bibliography

Here's a bibliography I'm compiling on Letter Carriers, as they relate to early Christianity, early Judaism and the Graeco-Roman world.  Feel free to add any items I've missed. 
 
Botha, Pieter. “The Verbal Art of the Pauline Letters: Rhetoric, Performance and Presence” in Rhetoric and the New Testament: Essays from the 1992 Heidelberg Conference, edited by Stanley Porter and T. H. Olbricht (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993) 409-428.
Epp, Eldon Jay “New Testament Papyrus Manuscripts and Letter Carrying in Greco-Roman Times,” in The Future of Early Christianity: Essays in Honor of Helmut Koester, Ed. Birger A. Pearson (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991), 35-56.
Head, Peter M. “Letter Carriers in the Ancient Jewish Epistolary Material” in Jewish and Christian Scripture as Artifact and Canon Eds. C.A. Evans & H.D. Zacharias LNTS 70; (London: T & T Clark, 2009), 203-219.
Head, Peter. “Named Letter Carriers among the Oxyrhynchus Papyri” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 31.3 (2009): 279-299.
Keyes, C. W. “The Greek Letter of Introduction,” AJP 56 (1935), 28-44.
Llewelyn, S. R. “The Christian Letters of Recommendation”, NewDocs, 8:170.
Mcquire, M. “Letters and Letter Carriers in Christian Antiquity,” CW 53 (1960): 148-53, 184-85.
Mitchell, Margaret M. “New Testament Envoys in the Context of Greco-Roman Diplomatic and Epistolary Conventions: The Example of Timothy and Titus.” JBL 111 (1992): 641-662.
Murphy-O’Connor, J.  Paul the Letter-Writer: His World, His Options, His Skills Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1995.
Richards, E. Randolph. Paul and First-Century Letter Writing: Secretaries, Composition and Collection.  Illinois: IVP, 2004.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

1 Peter Among Early Christian Writers

Lee Martin MacDonald notes the following use of 1 Peter among writers in the early Church:
Although there are several parallel phrases in Barnabas and 1 Peter (Barn. 5.6 and 1 Pet 1:20), it is only with Polycarp that clear use of 1 Peter is found (e.g., Pol. Phil. 1.3 and 1 Pet 1:8; Pol. Phil. 10:2 and 1 Pet 2:12).  The author of 2 Pet 3:1 (ca. 100-125, or possibly as late as 180) refers to the existence of an earlier letter by the Apostle Peter.  Eusebius claimed that Papias (ca. 100-150) knew and used 1 Peter (Hist. eccl. 3.39.17), and he includes it in the list of the recognised books (3.25.2 and 3.3.1).  Irenaeus was the first to use 1 Peter by name (Haer. 4.9.2; 4.16.5; 5.7.2), and thereafter many references are made to the book by the early church fathers.  Early witnesses validate the use of the book in the church, and it does not appear to have been seriously questioned in the fourth century, even though it is missing in the Muratorian Fragment.

Lee Martin MacDonald, The Biblical Canon: Its Origins, Transmission, and Authority (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 395-396.