On the Web (June 23, 2012)

On the web:

Cicero, Rhetorica ad Herennium

Marcus Tullius Cicero, after whom Teuffel name...
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to the Loeb Classical Library volumes noted as freely available online at Loebolus and Edonnelly, the Internet Archive has available Cicero’s Rhetorica ad Herennium (Loeb vol. 403) in a number of formats. Another HTML version is also available from the University of Chicago. Among the work’s other features, it contains a robust treatment of memory, which continues to have significance still today.

Academic Stimulants?

Image representing New York Times as depicted ...
Image via CrunchBase

Sunday’s New York Times had a disquieting article about a potentially dramatic increase in substance abuse among teens for the sake of improved academic performance:

The boy exhaled. Before opening the car door, he recalled recently, he twisted open a capsule of orange powder and arranged it in a neat line on the armrest. He leaned over, closed one nostril and snorted it.

Throughout the parking lot, he said, eight of his friends did the same thing.

The drug was not cocaine or heroin, but Adderall, an amphetamine prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that the boy said he and his friends routinely shared to study late into the night, focus during tests and ultimately get the grades worthy of their prestigious high school in an affluent suburb of New York City. The drug did more than just jolt them awake for the 8 a.m. SAT; it gave them a tunnel focus tailor-made for the marathon of tests long known to make or break college applications.

“Everyone in school either has a prescription or has a friend who does,” the boy said.

For the full article, see here.

On the Web (June 7, 2012)

On the Web:

Origin, Identity, and Mission

Jesus and Nicodemus, Crijn Hendricksz, 1616–1645.
Crijn Hendricksz, “Jesus and Nicodemus” (1616–1645; Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John 1:13 describes a group of individuals “who were not born from blood nor from a fleshly will nor from a husband’s will but from God” (οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλʼ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν). For John, being born “from blood” (ἐξ αἱμάτων), “from a fleshly will” (ἐκ θελήματος σαρκός), and “from a husband’s will” (ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρός) would all have been perfectly reasonable ways of describing ordinary, human generation.1 Yet, the individuals John describes as not having been born in these ways but as having been born “from God” (ἐκ θεοῦ) are still very much human beings (John 1:9–12). John’s point, then, is not to negate the reality of the ordinary, human, physical generation of the individuals he describes but to negate the significance of this origin for determining the identity of the “children of God” (John 1:12; τέκνα θεοῦ).

Not surprisingly, then, fairly soon, the Gospel’s narrative finds Jesus discussing with Nicodemus how those who have been born by ordinary, human generation must be born ἄνωθεν (e.g., John 3:3, 7). That it would make no sense for Jesus to affirm that someone, especially an older person, would need “to go into his mother’s womb and be born a second time” (John 3:4; εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ δεύτερον εἰσελθεῖν καὶ γεννηθῆναι) Nicodemus already well knows.2 What Nicodemus fails to grasp is that, for Jesus, birth ἄνωθεν is not so much about a difference of time as it is difference of location (i.e., not so much about birth “again” as birth “from above”; cf. John 3:31), along with the precise definition Jesus gives to the latter.3 Thus, to be born “from above” (ἄνωθεν) is to have a share in the same parentage as “the one who has descended from heaven” (John 3:13; ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς; cf. John 3:31). Such parentage is that of the Father who sends the Son to do his will (John 6:38) so that the Son also gives this same commission to his disciples and his siblings (John 18:36; 20:17, 21).4


1. William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Gospel according to John (New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1953), 1:82; Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2003), 404–5; Andreas J. Köstenberger, John (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004), 39–40.

2. Nicodemus seems not quite sure what to make of Jesus’ initial response or his further clarification (John 3:3–10; cf. Chrysostom, Hom. Jo., 24.2–3 [NPNF1, 14:85–86]; Keener, John, 544–45; Andreas J. Köstenberger, A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters: The Word, the Christ, the Son of God [Biblical Theology of the New Testament; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009], 474–76). Yet, the syntax of Nicodemus’s question in John 3:4b indicates that he expects Jesus to reject the possibility he there raises for interpreting what Jesus has said about birth ἄνωθεν (BDF, §427.2; cf. NASB95 and NET, sub. loc.).

3. Keener, John, 537; Köstenberger, Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters, 474–76. Of course, assuming that it would temporally follow birth according to ordinary, human generation, a birth “from above” would also be a kind of “second” birth (cf. Augustine, Faust., 24.1 [NPNF1, 4:317]; Chrysostom, Hom. Rom., 10.17 [NPNF1, 11:403]). Yet, for Jesus in John 3, this temporal sequence seems not to be nearly so significant as is the spatial distance between heaven and earth and the ideological significance that distance bears.

4. Köstenberger, Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters, 259.

Homer and the Papyri

Homer was also called Melesigenes (son of Mele...
Homer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Jones notes that

Homer and the Papyri, first created by Professor Dana Sutton of the University of California, Irvine, is . . . published [online] in a second electronic edition. The new edition consists of a fully searchable relational database of Homeric papyri.

For more details and to access the Homeric papyri database, please see here.

Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric

It seems like I’ve seen the site before, but Gideon Burton at Brigham Young University has digested a good deal of information about classical and Renaissance rhetoric at Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric. The site “is intended to help beginners, as well as experts, make sense of rhetoric, both on the small scale (definitions and examples of specific terms) and on the large scale (the purposes of rhetoric, the patterns into which it has fallen historically as it has been taught and practiced for 2000+ years).”

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 55, no. 1

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
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The latest issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society arrived in yesterday’s mail and includes the following:

  • Clinton Arnold, “Sceva, Solomon, and Shamanism: The Jewish Roots of the Problem at Colossae”
  • Nicholas Lunn, “Allusions to the Joseph Narrative in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts: Foundations of Biblical Type”
  • Daniel Hays, ” ‘Sell Everything You Have and Give to the Poor’: The Old Testament Prophetic Theme of Justice as the Connecting Motif of Luke 18:1–19:10″
  • Paul Tanner, “James’s Quotation of Amos 9 to Settle the Jerusalem Council Debate in Acts 15”
  • Jonathan Lunde and John Dunne, “Paul’s Creative and Contextual Use of Isaiah in Ephesians 5:14”
  • Emmitt Cornelius, “St. Irenaeus and Robert W. Jenson on Jesus in the Trinity”
  • Michael Bräutigam, “Good Will Hunting: Adolf Schlatter on Organic Volitional Sanctification”