Grace & Knowledge Blog

Grace & Knowledge Blog

James and the Trials of Abraham

September 27, 2017

The epistle of James is full of valuable moral instruction, but commentators have found it a challenge to discern an organizing principle behind it all.  

One promising suggestion, due to David Instone-Brewer:  James may have had the life of Abraham in mind as a model.  

I have posted a brief article on this proposal here.

Tags: grace and knowledge articles


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House Signs of Oxford 46: Punning on Withrow

September 27, 2017

On a number of streets in Oxford, house signs make some reference to the street name.  There are lots of examples on Beech St and Vine St, in particular.

Some other street names are harder to incorporate into a catchy sign.  Withrow, for example, is a challenge.  Finding a good pun on Withrow may be right up there with finding a rhyme for "oranges".

So I was pleased to see the new sign at 216 W. Withrow that reads, 

"Withrow Without You."

Well punned! 

 

 

Tags: oxford oh signs


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New article about Paul's use of Deut 25:4 in 1 Cor 9

August 21, 2017

In 1 Cor 9, Paul the apostle makes an argument that people who serve in a congregation deserve financial support from that congregation.  He appeals to Deut 25:4, which says

"You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain."

There's been controversy among scholars as to the reasoning Paul uses to apply this verse about oxen to humans.  I discuss this issue in a new post at the Grace and Knowledge site, looking at what Deut 25:4 means in its context in Deuteronomy and at how this verse was applied in Paul's day.

Tags: grace and knowledge articles


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No Thanks

August 17, 2017

This summer a boutique on High Street in Oxford has featured on its sidewalk signboard an announcement that it has "life changing men's underwear'' in stock.  I haven't checked it out, not being comfortable with the idea of underwear being "life changing".  Underwear has an important purpose, but that's not it. 

Tags: oxford oh signs


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Ninth Honorable Mention in BAR Cartoon Caption Contest

August 17, 2017

In the May/June 2017 cartoon caption contest in the Biblical Archaeology Review, my submission made the honorable mention list.  

The cartoon shows Jacob wrestling with the angel (Gen 32), and I have Jacob saying, 

"I may be 97 years old, but on WrestleMania, they call me the Bruiser from Bethel."

 

Tags: bar caption contest, humor


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2017 Oxford Library Sale

August 4, 2017

Today was the annual book sale at the public library, still with hardbacks for a dollar and paperbacks for 50 cents.  This sale usually seems to coincide with the annual yard sale along US highway 127, which passes within about 7 miles of Oxford.

I just picked up a few things this year, including paperback copies of Barbara Tuchman's Bible and Sword and Alister McGrath's Christian Theology:  An Introduction

Tags: books, oxford library sale


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Studying James 4:5

May 28, 2017

Usually when a New Testament writer states, "The Scripture says.....", it's not too hard to identify what scripture is in view.  But there are some exceptions.  

One of them is James 4:5, which says in the ESV:

`Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?'

On the other hand, the CSB says:

"Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit he made to dwell in us envies intensely?"

In the ESV version, the idea attributed to scripture is that God zealously desires our undivided devotion--as stated in Exod 20:5.  

In the CSB, the idea is that the human spirit has a tendency toward lust and envy--as in Gen 6:5; 8:21.

A third reading, proposed by New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham, is 

"The Spirit God made to dwell in us loathes envy."  

Bauckham believes that the scripture in view here is Numbers 11, as retold in a (now lost) work called the Book of Eldad and Modad.  I have further discussion of James 4:5 in an article posted today.

 

 

 

Tags: grace and knowledge articles


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House Signs of Oxford 45: A Good Combination

May 15, 2017

One of the most colorful house signs in Oxford is at the corner of Church and Elm. 

The sign reads "Church and Rescue", and has a picture of a church and an emergency vehicle, making reference to the fact that the fire trucks and emergency vehicles in Oxford are housed in a building on Elm Street about 4 blocks south of this house. 

Tags: oxford oh signs


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Day of Atonement Connections in John 19-20

April 29, 2017

Another interesting JETS paper by Nicholas Lunn, from 2009, investigates symbolism related to the ark of the covenant and the Day of Atonement in the Gospel of John.  I summarize this article in a recent post.

Tags: grace and knowledge articles


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Tabernacle/Temple Symbolism in Gospel Accounts of Jesus' Baptism and Temptation

March 26, 2017

When we read the accounts of Jesus' baptism and wilderness testing in the Gospels, we can tell these events must be packed with lots of symbolism.  

I discuss this in a new article posted to the Grace and Knowledge site, based on a Dec 2016 JETS article by Dr. Nicholas P. Lunn.

Tags: grace and knowledge articles


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