Tuesday, May 7, 2019

An Interview with Jason Whitlark about Resisting Empire

Tavis Bohlinger interviews Jason Whitlark about his book, Resisting Empire: Rethinking the Purpose of the Letter to "the Hebrews."

Hebrews, Interpretation, and Preaching - Part 2

The Center for Pastor Theologians has now posted the second part of their interview with Amy Peeler and Gerald Hiestand on Hebrews, Interpretation, and Preaching.

I will confess that I don't agree with the Calvinist slant that this interview takes on the Book of Hebrews.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Hebrews, Interpretation, and Preaching

The Center for Pastor Theologians has done a podcast with Amy Peeler and Gerald Hiestand, entitled "Hebrews, Interpretation, and Preaching." Part 1 is now posted.

New Book Available on Hebrews

Robert Rayburn has informed me that his book, a revised version of his dissertation, has now been published:

Rayburn, Robert. “Yesterday, Today, and Forever”: The Narrative World of Ψ 94 (Ps 95) as a Hermeneutical Key to Hebrews. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2019.

Abstract from the website:
"Hebrews is a book of riddles. Recent scholarship has arrived at an impasse over difficulties and apparent contradictions within the argument. A new look at Hebrews is needed. This book examines the use of Psalm 95 in Hebrews. The psalm recalls a narrative world and renews an exhortation that reoccurs throughout Israel’s history. Hebrews takes up this summons and the story behind it (Heb 3-4, 10-12) to urge its audience to be faithful. This exhortation unites God’s people past and present (Heb 1, 13). The results of this study are applied to the new covenant (Heb 8) and reveal that a reexamination of common assumptions about Hebrews are necessary. A review of the history of interpretation shows that while assumptions about Hebrews have an early beginning, they have not gone unchallenged."

Gäbel Reviews Church, Hebrews and the Temple

Georg Gäbel reviews Philip Church, Hebrews and the Temple: Attitudes to the Temple in Second Temple Judaism and in Hebrews. It is on Academia.edu, so I don't know if it is open access to everyone.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Dynamic Absence of Jesus in Hebrews

The newest article on Hebrews:

Bockmuehl, Markus. “The Dynamic Absence of Jesus in Hebrews.” Journal of Theological Studies 70.1 (2018): 141–62.

"How does Hebrews negotiate the whereabouts of the risen Jesus, on the dialectical spectrum between physical and indeed metaphysical absence on the one hand, and affirmations of a continuing or intermittent presence on the other? More than perhaps any other New Testament writing, Hebrews concentrates on Jesus’s distance from the world of earthly Christian life and discipleship. And yet the author’s ‘word of encouragement’ (13:22) evidently serves his recipients’ situation more urgently through its emphasis on the Son’s heavenly high priesthood rather than on his immediate presence. The presence of Jesus is here most clearly articulated in relation to his incarnation in the past: unlike elsewhere in the New Testament, no obvious attempt is made to sublimate or compensate for the absence of Jesus by sacramental, mystical, or pneumatological means. Nevertheless, even the pastness of the incarnation remains a powerful and abiding ingredient both in Christ’s ongoing priestly work and in the expectation of his coming. As a result, Jesus’ seeming remoteness in Hebrews remains in important respects compatible with his continuing accessibility and closeness to pilgrim believers."

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Saturday, March 23, 2019

An Old Dissertation Newly Published

The following dissertation is now available for purchase and/or download:

Worley, David Ripley, Jr. “God’s Faithfulness to Promise: The Hortatory Use of Commissive Language in Hebrews.” PhD diss., Yale University, 1981.

"David Worley's 1981 Yale University dissertation--revised with foreword by James Thompson and bibliographical addendum by Lee Zachary Maxey--explores the use commissive language, promises, and hortatory literature in the book of Hebrews. The author concludes that the use of commissive language in the book of Hebrews was not prompted by criticisms within the church over a delay in God’s promise keeping; rather that our author seized upon God’s commissive activity and the behavior of promisees of scripture as a way of emboldening a people tempted to withdraw from one another and from God to endure social and financial difficulties and to remain confident in the face of threats to the promise."

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hebrews at the Tyndale NT Study Group

Ian Paul has made an announcement of the upcoming Tyndale NT Study Group which will be meeting June 26–28, 2019 at the Tyndale House in Cambridge. One paper on Hebrews will be featured:

Philip Church (Laidlaw College, Auckland, NZ)
“In Speaking of a New Covenant, God Declares the First Obsolete” (Heb 8:13): Supersessionism in the Book of Hebrews.

Hebrews at SBL Regional Meetings

A few Hebrews papers are featured in a couple of regional meeting. This is what I could find. Some regional meetings are not very good about posting their programs.

Central States Regional Meeting
March 17–18
Eden Theological Seminary
St. Louis, MO

Sunday 1:00-5:00, New Testament I
3:30 Paul Bebout, London School of Theology“Sanctification in Hebrews 2:9–18 as an Instrument in the Formation of the Identity of the Children of God”
4:00 Matthew T. Kimbrough, Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary“‘Let Brotherly Love Continue’: A Socio-Cultural Analysis of the Familial Ecclesiology of Hebrews”

The New England and Eastern Canada Region
Friday, March 22, 2019
Tufts University
Medford, MA

SBL 2: Early Christianity
David Young, Boston University
Editions of the Corpus Paulinum and the Reception of the Epistle to the Hebrews

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Perkins Reviews Schreiner

Pheme Perkins reviews Thomas Schreiner's commentary on Hebrews in RBL.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Westfall Reviews Laansma's Commentary

Cynthia Long Westfall reviews Jon Laansma's commentary on Hebrews in RBL:

Laansma, Jon C. The Letter to the Hebrews: A Commentary for Preaching, Teaching, and Bible Study. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017.

Friday, January 4, 2019

New RBL Book Review

A review of the following book has just appeared on RBL:

Moret, Jean-René. Christ, la Loi et les Alliances: Les lettres aux Hébreux et de Paul: regards croisés. Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2017.

The review by Denis Fricker and is in in French.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

New Dissertation on Hebrews

Timothy Bertolet informed me that his dissertation is now available:

Bertolet, Timothy J. "The Obedience of Sonship: Adamic Obedience as the Grounds for Heavenly Ascension in the Book of Hebrews." Ph.D. diss., University of Pretoria, 2018.

"This thesis makes a unique contribution in the field of New Testament studies with specific attention to New Testament theology and the Christology of Hebrews. It explores the relationship between Sonship and the ascension in the book of Hebrews. It argues that the ascension of Jesus reveals the nature of his Sonship. First, chapters two and three of this study examine the Sonship of Jesus in Hebrews 1. It portrays Jesus as both the Messianic and the divine eternal Son. While recent scholarship has questioned whether the Son in Hebrews is a divine Sonship, this thesis demonstrates that Hebrews portrays Jesus as divine. Second, this study argues that Heb. 2 contains a “Second Adam Christology.” The Son shares in true humanity and is appointed to fulfill the destiny of humanity. In this humanity, he is crowned with glory and honor in fulfillment of Ps. 8. The Son stands in solidaric representation of the people of God. This second Adam function is both kingly and priestly as representative who leads God’s people to this glory. Third, as this eschatological man who is crowned as king and priest the Son ascends into heaven. This is set against the background of apocalyptic literature where heaven is a temple and the dwelling place of God. The Son is portrayed in Hebrews as ascending into a true tabernacle that is heaven itself. He enters heaven as both king and priest of the age to come because he himself has first come to participate in the age to come. Finally, the study demonstrates that the obedience of the Son qualifies him for his ascension and eschatological ‘perfection.’ We argue that the theme of obedient trust and crying out to God is an Adamic-Davidic role with a Psalmic background. We conclude, in the book of Hebrews, Christ is the eternal Son who also functions in the Adam-David role of sonship. His actions as the true human exercising trust and obedience qualify him to ascend up into heaven crowned with humanity’s eschatological glory."

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Book on Reading Hebrews with the African American Great Migration

Bloomsbury T&T Clark has just announced the publication of this new book:

Kaalund, Jennifer T. Reading Hebrews and 1 Peter with the African American Great Migration: Diaspora, Place, and Identity. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018.

"Kaalund examines the constructed and contested Christian-Jewish identities in Hebrews and 1 Peter through the lens of the “New Negro,” a diasporic identity similarly constructed and contested during the Great Migration in the early 20th century. Like the identity “Christian,” the New Negro emerged in a context marked by instability, creativity, and the need for a sense of permanence in a hostile political environment.

Upon examination, both identities also show complex internal diversity and debate that disrupts any simple articulation as purely resistant (or accommodating) to its hegemonic and oppressive environment. Kaalund's investigation into the construction of the New Negro highlights this multiplicity and contends that the rhetoric of place, race, and gender were integral to these processes of inventing a way of being in the world that was seemingly not reliant on one's physical space. Putting these issues into dialogue with 1 Peter and Hebrews allows for a reading of the formation of Christian identity as similarly engaging the rhetoric of place and race in constructive and contested ways."

Monday, December 17, 2018

Repunctuation of Hebrews 9:17?

The newest article on Hebrews has just been published in JBL:

Stevens, Daniel. "Is It Valid? A Case for the Repunctuation of Hebrews 9:17." Journal of Biblical Literature 137.4 (2018): 1019–25.

"Traditionally in translation and edited Greek texts, Heb 9:17 has been punctuated and understood as a declarative statement. I argue, however, that 9:17, particularly 9:17b, should be understood as a rhetorical question, not as a declaration. One possible translation would be “For a testament is made sure upon death. After all, is a testament ever valid while the one who made it lives?” "

Members of SBL of course can download a copy of the article through the SBL website.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Paradox of High Christology in Hebrews

The newest article on Hebrews, which has been made available on Academia.edu:

Wenkel, David H. "The Paradox of High Christology in Hebrews." Biblica 99.3 (2018): 431–46.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Death of Paul Ellingworth

From Steve Walton, secretary of the British New Testament Society:

"We have received the sad news of the death of Professor Paul Ellingworth on Sunday last, 25 November from Richard, his second (of three) sons. Professor Ellingworth taught at the University of Aberdeen, and worked with the United Bible Societies as a translation consultant for many years, as well as publishing his major commentary on Hebrews (NIGTC), as well as many other published books, articles and essays."

As Steve Walton points out, Ellingworth was most noted for his commentary on Hebrews in the New Internation Greek Testament Commentary published with Eerdmans in 1993. It is perhaps THE most technical commentary on the Greek text of Hebrews in existence.

Ellingworth also did a couple of other smaller commentaries on Hebrews. In 1983 he published with Eugene Nida A Translator’s Handbook on the Letter to the Hebrews with the United Bible Societies. In 1991 he published a small commentary on Hebrews in the Epworth Commentaries series.

His doctoral dissertation was on “The Old Testament in Hebrews Exegesis, Method and Hermeneutics,” completed in 1977 with the University of Aberdeen.

He also published the following articles on Hebrews:

“Hebrews and 1 Clement: Literary Dependence or Common Tradition?” Biblische Zeitschrift ns 23 (1979): 262–69.

“Hebrews and the Anticipation of Completion.” Themelios ns 14 (1988): 6–11.

“Jesus and the Universe in Hebrews.” The Evangelical Quarterly 58 (1986): 337–50.

“Just Like Melchizedek.” The Bible Translator 28 (1977): 236–39.

“‘Like the Son of God’: Form and Content in Hebrews 7,1–10.” Biblica 64 (1983): 255–62.

“New Testament Text and Old Testament Context in Heb. 12.3.” Studia Biblica 3 (1978): 89–96.

“Reading through Hebrews 1–7: Listening Especially for the Theme of Jesus as High Priest.” Epworth Review 12.1 (Jan 1985): 80–88.

“The Unshakable Priesthood: Hebrews 7.24.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 23 (1985): 125–26.

Clearly, he was one of the most prolific contributors to the scholarly study of Hebrews. I never had the privilege of meeting him. Requiescat in pace.