signature contention, that Israel’s continuing exile was a pivotal issue in the emergence of Christianity, has found a central place in contemporary New Testament scholarship.
While many find this a compelling key to understanding the New Testament, critical responses also abound. This book engages a variety of scholars in conversation with Wright’s thesis. The scene is set in an introduction by James M. Scott, who has made significant contributions to the debate. Then, in a programmatic essay, Wright clearly restates his thesis. Next come eleven essays from scholars such as Walter Brueggemann, Philip Alexander, Jörn Kiefer, Dorothy Peters, and Scot McKnight. They interact with Wright’s thesis from various perspectives: Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, early Judaism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the New Testament. Hans Boersma and Ephraim Radner then engage Wright’s thesis from theological perspectives. Finally, Wright offers a lively response to his interlocutors.
This month, Logos Bible Software’s free book is N. T. Wright’s Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Christian Discipleship (SPCK, 1994). The book falls into two parts:
Part one outlines the essential messages of six major New Testament books—Hebrews, Colossians, Matthew, John, Mark, and Revelation. Part two examines six key New Testament themes—resurrection, rebirth, temptation, hell, heaven, and new life—and considers their significance for the lives of present-day disciples.
The companion volume for $1.99 is Wright’s Who Was Jesus? (SPCK, 1991).
Larry Hurtado has kindly made available the pre-publication version of his essay “YHWH’s Return to Zion: A New Catalyst for Earliest High Christology?” in the recent God and the Faithfulness of Paul: A Critical Examination of the Pauline Theology of N. T. Wright, edited by Christoph Heilig, Thomas Hewitt, and Michael Bird (WUNT 2/413; Mohr Siebeck, 2016).
The latest reviews from the Review of Biblical Literature include:
- Robert B. Chisholm Jr., A Commentary on Judges and Ruth, reviewed by Mark E. Biddle
- John W. Daniels Jr., Gossiping Jesus: The Oral Processing of Jesus in John’s Gospel, reviewed by Peter J. Judge
- John Goldingay, Isaiah 56-66: Introduction, Text, and Commentary, reviewed by Johanna Erzberger
- Steven A. Hunt, D. Francois Tolmie, and Ruben Zimmermann, eds., Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John, reviewed by Craig R. Koester
- Demetrios S. Katos, Palladius of Helenopolis: The Origenist Advocate, reviewed by Jon F. Dechow
- Phillip J. Long, Jesus the Bridegroom: The Origin of the Eschatological Feast as a Wedding Banquet in the Synoptic Gospels, reviewed by Marianne Blickenstaff
- Roberto Martínez, The Question of John the Baptist and Jesus’ Indictment of the Religious Leaders: A Critical Analysis of Luke 7:18–35, reviewed by Brian C. Dennert and by Bart J. Koet
- Benjamin J. Segal, A New Psalm: The Psalms as Literature, reviewed by Hallvard Hagelia
- N. T. Wright, Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul, 1978–2013, reviewed by Russell Morton
HT: Brian LePort
As Anthony Le Donne and Michael Bird have already noted, N. T. Wright’s much-anticipated fourth volume in the Christian Origins and the Question of God Series, Paul and the Faithfulness of God, has now become three installments. Besides the series’ first three volumes, all three installments of the new fourth part are now available for pre-order via Logos Bible Software. The three individual installments’ contents are outlined there as follows:
Wright explores Paul’s worldview and theology in light of Second Temple Judaism [Paul and the Faithfulness of God]. He also summarizes and explains all the key areas of debate in contemporary Pauline studies [Paul and His Recent Interpreters]. The final part of this three-volume work [Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul 1978–2012] brings together N. T. Wright’s most important and influential articles on Paul over the last 30 years.
Ezra and Nehemiah each provide their own distinct reports of the Jews’ return from Babylonian exile. Even if the portrayal of this return as a “second exodus” is not a particular, literary concern in these books,1 the narrative’s inclusion of elements like captivity, release, land resettlement, and covenant establishment certainly echo important features in the narrative of Israel’s exodus from Egypt.2 Even so, Ezra and Nehemiah include in their portraits of the people’s experience of some “reviving” (מחיה) a stroke in which the people also found themselves still to be slaves (Ezra 9:8–9; cf. Neh 9:36).3
As a prime example of the people’s slavery in “the land that you gave to our fathers to eat its fruit and its goodness” (Neh 9:36; הארץ אשׁר־נתתה לאבתינו לאכל את־פריה ואת־טובה), “its increase goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins” (Neh 9:37; ותבואתה מרבה למלכים אשׁר־נתתה עלינו בחטאותינו). This observation situates even the returned community as being, to some extent, still subject to the covenant’s curses (e.g., Deut 28:33, 51). Yet, the promise still stood of a day when Abraham’s children would again freely enjoy the produce of the land (Deut 30; Isa 55; cf. John 4:35; Rom 4:13; 10:1–17).
2. Cf. P. M. Venter, “Canon, Intertextuality and History in Nehemiah 7:72b–10:40,” HvTSt 65, no. 1 (2009): 161.
3. G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011), 745–46; N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God 1; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 268–79, 299–301; N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God 2; Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), 125–31, 428–30.
In Acts 13:16–41, Paul addresses the Pisidian synagogue. In this discourse’s context, Paul asserts “we preach to you the good news concerning the promise that had come to the fathers—that this promise God has fulfilled for us their children by raising Jesus” (Acts 13:32–33; ἡμεῖς ὑμᾶς εὐαγγελιζόμεθα τὴν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἐπαγγελίαν γενομένην, ὅτι ταύτην ὁ θεὸς ἐκπεπλήρωκεν τοῖς τέκνοις [αὐτῶν] ἡμῖν ἀναστήσας Ἰησοῦν). From here, the following quotation of Ps 2:7 confirms Jesus’ resurrection by Yahweh’s hand (cf. Acts 13:37).1 This resurrection in incorruption situates Jesus as the means by which the ancestral promise becomes actualized (Acts 13:34–37) because it situates him as the recipient and mediator of the things vouchsafed to David (Acts 13:34)—namely, an everlasting covenant in which the wandering return and receive forgiveness from Yahweh (Isa 55; cf. Deut 30).2