Ad fontes @Logos

Graves, ed., "Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church" coverI’ve previously mentioned Michael Graves’s Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church (Fortress, 2017).  The text is part of a projected 8-volume series. Logos Bible Software now has the first four volumes available for order via their pre-publication program. This includes

  • Michael Graves, ed., Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church’
  • Maria E. Doerfler and George Kalantzis, eds., Church and Empire
  • Everett Ferguson and George Kalantzis, eds., Understandings of the Church
  • Helen Rhee and George Kalantzis, eds., Wealth and Poverty in Early Christianity

For more information about the half-series bundle or to order, see the Logos website.

Gadamer on time, tradition, and continuity

Photograph of H. G. GadamerStemming from a discussion of Martin Heidegger’s temporal explanation of Dasein, H.-G. Gadamer suggests,

Time is no longer primarily a gulf to be bridged because it separates; it is actually the supportive ground of the course of events in which the present is rooted. Hence temporal distance is not something that must be overcome. This was, rather, the naive assumption of historicism, namely that we must transpose ourselves into the spirit of the age, think with its ideas and its thoughts, and not with our own, and thus advance toward historical objectivity. In fact the important thing is to recognize temporal distance a s a positive and productive condition enabling understanding. It is not a yawning abyss but is filled with the continuity of custom and tradition, in the light of which everything handed down presents itself to us. (Truth and Method, 308)

Thus, Gadamer’s suggestion seems to be that the past is, of course, not our own time, but perhaps neither is it the wholly alien thing that thoroughgoing historicism might represent it as being with respect to the present.

Gupta, Lewis on ambition and pride

Stimulated by Craig Hill’s Servant of All: Status, Ambition, and the Way of Jesus (Eerdmans, 2016),  Nijay Gupta provides some interesting excerpts and reflections. He comments, in part,

I have learned that I cannot control what other people think of me. I need to be driven by what I think is right, keep my pride in check, have friends and colleagues who can graciously call me out if I err, and pass on generosity to those who are struggling just as others have lifted me up. I think we will be held back from doing all that we are called to do if we are overly occupied with how our work “looks” to others. I try to believe that if we commit ourselves to quality (and not just quantity), we should not be embarrassed with our work and productivity.

This reflection is substantially similar to C. S. Lewis’s thoughts that

Pleasure in being praised is not Pride. The child who is patted on the back for doing a lesson well, the woman whose beauty is praised by her lover, the saved soul to whom Christ says ‘Well done,’ are pleased and ought to be. For here the pleasure lies not in what you are but in the fact that you have pleased someone you wanted (and rightly wanted) to please. The trouble begins when you pass from thinking, ‘I have pleased him; all is well,’ to thinking, ‘What a fine person I must be to have done it.’ The more you delight in yourself and the less you delight in the praise, the worse you are becoming. When you delight wholly in yourself and do not care about the praise at all, you have reached the bottom.

Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all. (Mere Christianity, 125–26, 128)

For the balance of Nijay’s reflections, see his original post.

Aubrey on theological lexica

Mike Aubrey has provided an excerpt from an essay of his in Linguistics & Biblical Exegesis (Lexham, 2016). The excerpt strives carefully to work out a middle ground that is neither wholly on the side of theological lexica nor on that of James Barr’s critique of them.

Instead, Mike suggests,

If the failure of theological dictionaries was the assumption that words and concepts are identical, then the failure of the structuralist semantics that dominated the field when James Barr wrote his critique was the assumption that words and concepts are dramatically different. If words mean anything at all, then there must be a substantive relationship between them and the concepts (both associative and denotative) they evoke mentally.

Particularly if language is indeed the medium and horizon of human hermeneutic experience (e.g., H.-G. Gadamer, Truth and Method, 401–514), then the question of theological (or other conceptual) lexicography would still seem to be quite appropriate to ask, albeit perhaps in a chastened fashion in the continuing wake of Barr’s critique.

For the balance of Mike’s reflections, see his original post.

Zotero forum thread on commas, periods, and closing quotation marks

I’ve recently had a discussion over at the Zotero forums that brought to light a couple interesting points that I hadn’t been aware of:

  1. There’s currently in beta a major update to Zotero 5.0, which includes several important feature changes. The beta isn’t quite ready for prime time yet but should be “very soon.” Included in this update is the new Citation Style Language (CSL) processor that should remedy the comma and period placement issue in the forum thread.
  2. Frank Bennett has provided an updated CSL processor that can be installed in a current Zotero 4 version via the Propachi Vanilla plugin.

For additional discussion of Zotero here, see this tag.

GTD Times

David Allen, via Twitter

It’s certainly not new, but I recently came across the GTD Times blog run by the David Allen Company. The most recent entry is the first part of a keynote in which Allen overviews his approach to “getting things done,” as covered more fully in his book by the same title. If academia should ever manifest itself as an environment with an overabundance of demands, Allen’s advice may be a helpful starting point in adequately coming to grips with that situation.

On similar notes, see also David Allen @EntreLeadership.

Other discussion of Bates, “Salvation by allegiance”

In commenting about theLAB’s interview with Matthew Bates, I overlooked having saved a couple other recent interactions with his Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King (Baker, 2017):

  • Nijay Gupta provides a friendly, largely affirmative, and probing set of thoughts.
  • Thomas Schreiner expresses his appreciation for some of the volume’s core impulses but suggests that the proposals gains fail to outweigh the corresponding deficiencies that it creates.

For additional, related discussion, see Bates interview at theLAB and Bates, “Salvation by allegiance alone” and some theological forebears.

Bates interview at theLAB

At the Logos Academic Blog,  Tavis Bohlinger has the first part of an interview series with Matthew Bates. This first entry takes its main impetus from Bates’s Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King (Baker, 2017) but also ranges into other areas of personal background, research productivity, and spiritual formation.

For prior further discussion, see also Bates, “Salvation by allegiance alone” and some theological forebears.

Wallace, “Medieval manuscripts”

ETS logoIn its first 2017 issue (currently behind the society membership paywall), the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society has a version of Daniel Wallace’s presidential address from the 2016 annual Evangelical Theological Society meeting: “Medieval Manuscripts and Modern Evangelicals: Lessons from the Past, Guidance for the Future” (5–34). Per the abstract, the essay focuses on

paratextual and codicological material in medieval Greek NT manuscripts … that have been largely neglected by evangelicals. Five such features are touched on in this article: (1) the growing canon consciousness and emergence of the codex and their interrelationship; (2) subscriptions (scribal notes at the end of NT books, often reflecting very early traditions) and colophons (blessing, supplication, or mild complaint by a scribe at the end of his codex); (3) the significant but essentially ignored role of female scribes through the centuries; (4) the part that paratextual features in these MSS played in helping scribes to memorize scripture; and (5) the visual priority given to Scripture over tradition in MSS with commentaries.

The article has a substantial and interesting discussion of each of these points, as well as some helpful additional discussion and bibliography in several of the footnotes.