Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why the Lack of the Institution of the Eucharist in John (Bauckham)?

Why is the Eucharist not an explicit event narrated in the fourth Gospel? Richard Bauckham answers by saying,

I have argued elsewhere that john presupposes that his readers know Mark’s Gospel and deliberately does not repeat what could be read in Mark unless he has a specific reason for doing so. And second, To call Mark 14:22-25 and Matt. 26:26-29 accounts of “the institution of the Eucharist” is misleading because, unlike Luke 22:19 and Paul in 1 Cor. 11:25, they contain no indication that what Jesus does is to be repeated by his disciples. The function of these accounts in Mark and Matthew is to provide readers, in advance of the narrative of Jesus’ death, with a sacrificial interpretation of that death. John has no need of such an account for this purpose, because his narrative of the death of Jesus itself suggests a sacrificial interpretation (John 19:34). So, at the Last Supper he narrates instead another symbolic act of Jesus, the foot-washing (John 13:1-11), which also interprets the death of Jesus, in this case as the culmination of his ministry of loving service in the role of a slave.1

  1. Richard Bauckham, “Sacraments?” in Gospel of Glory, p. 104. ↩︎

Richard Bauckham on Participation in Christ from John 6

Richard Bauckham in his recent collection of essays/lectures, Gospel of Glory, writes about the possibility of the sacraments in the Gospel of John. One of the striking aspects of the fourth gospel is the absence of the sacraments but many theologians and scholars throughout history recognize the presence of sacramental type language throughout. Bauckham argues that John in chapter six is making an allusive reference to the Lord’s Supper to highlight the believer participating in the life of Jesus. He says,

It now becomes clear that eternal life is not just a divine gift to those who believe in Jesus; it is actual participation in Jesus’s own life, made available through his death. This is the significance of John 6:56–57. In verse 57 Jesus explains that he himself lives out of the eternal divine life of his Father, and so believers, participating in Jesus’s life, are alive with this same divine life. In verse 56 he explains that faith in the crucified Jesus unites the believer with him in a union so intimate and enduring that it can be depicted as mutual indwelling and abiding. This language of the reciprocal indwelling of Jesus and the believer is itself, because of its reciprocity, an advance on the language of eating and drinking. John introduces here as a means of connecting this discourse with the Last Supper Discourse, where the image of mutual indwelling recurs (John 10:14–23; 15:4–7) in the context of fuller discussion of the life of discipleship.1

  1. Richard Bauckham, “Sacraments?” in Gospel of Glory pp. 102–3. ↩︎

Dunn on Pitting the Imminent and Future Kingdom of God Against Each Other

In James Dunn’s helpful collection of essays in Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels he says this regarding scholarship pitting the imminent and future kingdom of God sayings in the Synoptics against each other,

In New Testament scholarship there has been a huge and long-lasting debate as to which of these two strands is the more ‘original’, although it has been a good deal quietened by the realisation that some of the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect a similar tension between an eschatological hope already fulfilled and a hope still maintained for imminent consumption. The debate within New Testament scholarship demonstrates more clearly than most others the futility of making conclusions regarding ‘the historical Jesus’ depend on individual verses and the conclusion that can be inferred from them. The fact is that both strands are well rooted in and run through the Synoptic tradition. Both are characteristic of the Synoptic Jesus. How dare we exegetes and expositors insist on squeezing such diverse traditions into a single mould and on squeezing out what does not fit our own ideas of consistency and good sense. It is much more responsible for historians and exegetes to recognise that this double characteristic of the Jesus tradition is best explained as a double characteristic of Jesus’ own teaching and mission. The overall two-sided impact of Jesus remains clear, even if it remains unclear how the two side were held together by Jesus and his first disciples.1

  1. James Dunn in Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels “Fact or Fiction? How Reliable are the Gospels?” p. 16 ↩︎

Karl Barth on The Lens To Which We Read Holy Scripture

Mark Bowald in describing Karl Barth’s typology of theological hermeneutics cited this helpful quote about the lens of which we should read Holy Scripture:

No one has ever read the Bible only with his own eyes and no one ever should. The only question is what interpreters we allow and in what order we let them speak. It is a pure superstition that the systematizing of a so-called historico-critical theology has such a greater affinity to Holy Scripture itself and has therefore in some sense to be heard before the Apostle’s Creed or the Heidelberg Catechism as a more convincing exposition of the biblical witness. What we have in the historical critical theology is simply the commentary of a theology if not a mythology. The only thing is that this commentary has not been affirmed by a Church, that so far the theology or mythology has wisely hesitated to claim the character of a real decision. Obviously we cannot choose between the biblical text and a Church confession. We are definitely pointed and bound to the text, and not to the commentary. Again, we cannot choose between the possibility of using all available commentaries for and understanding of the text, including that of the historico-critical theology—or that of using only a few more convenient ones, including, of course, the Church confession. But we have the possibility of giving first place among all the voices which have to be heard to that of the Church confession, i.e., to listen to it first on the assumption that it has something particular to say to us as the solemnly gathered deposit of the significant existing experience of the Church with Holy Scripture. We then have to be constantly ready for corrections of its view either by other voices of by our own insight…If we cannot do this, if we have to reject as contrary to Scripture the direction indicated by the confession, we then have to face the difficult problem of an exchange of confessions, that is, an alteration of our ecclesiastical position.”1

  1. Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 1.2, 649–51. Quoted in Bowald, Mark Rendering the Word in Theological Hermeneutics pp. 181–182. ↩︎

Abridged Reading Guide for John Barclay’s Paul and the Gift

After reading Barclay’s Paul and the Gift I’ve had several people express interest in reading the book but generally with the comment “if I ever have the time” or something to that effect. Granted, this book is fairly long and does take awhile to read. While most people outside those with a vested interest in NT scholarship will probably not have the time to read something of this size outside their field. But this book is important in many aspects and I think that many outside the field of NT (thinking especially of systematic theologians and those interested in church history) will need to wrestle or be familiar with the arguments of the book.

I thought writing up a simple reading guide for the book my help those who have an interest in the book but don’t have time to wade through the 500+ pages. So here is what I would recommend people who fall in this category to read in order to understand the argument without wading through the details. Of course, if you have questions on some of the conclusions you can dive deeper into some of the exegesis of individual texts.

  • 1.2 (24-50) – this sections covers some of the Greco-Roman background to the idea of gift and reciprocity. This sections is vital to understanding the patronage nature of ancient society and serves as a helpful foundation for the rest of the book.
  • 1.3 (51-62) – this section discusses the modern understanding of gift. Reading this will give you a helpful idea of how gifts are understood in the modern world and you will immediately notice some of the disconnect between modern western society and the ancient world regarding gifts and reciprocity.
  • 1.4 (63-65) – Barclay provides some summary of the first chapter. Personally, I find his conclusions and summaries very helpful in understanding the overall thrust of his book.
  • 2 (66-78) – this section is especially important as Barclay outlines his six perfections of grace. You will want to understand these perfections as they serve as guideposts for the rest of the book as he discusses different theologians, exegetes, and other ancient writings in connection with grace.
  • 3 (79-182) – this chapter surveys the history of interpretation of theologians and exegetes understanding of grace in Paul. The strength of this chapter is that Barclay utilizes his six perfections of grace outlines in chapter 2 in order to evaluate each person’s understanding of grace. Personally, I found this chapter one of the most intriguing and helpful in the book.
  • 4 (183-193) – Barclay helpfully summarizes part one of the book.
  • Part II of the book outlines the notion of divine gift in Second Temple Judaism. Within these chapters he surveys Wisdom of Solomon, Philo of Alexandria, The Qumran Hodayot (1QHa), Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum, and 4 Ezra. While these chapters are extremely important for NT scholars I think most people can skip to his conclusions in chapter 10 (309-330). Once you read his conclusions and summary and you have specific questions you can go back to the relevant texts for a closer look.
  • 11.1 (331-332) – this short section introduces the notion of gift in Galatians
  • 11.4 (339-350) – Barclay outlines four different readings of Galatians (Martin Luther, James Dunn, J. Louis Martyn, and Brigitte Kahl)
  • 14.4 (442-448) – Barclay summarizes his conclusions to his exegesis of Galatians. Once again, if you have further questions find the relevant section and read his exegetical conclusions of that particular issue.
  • 15.1-2 (449-454) – Barclay outlines the notion of gift and mercy in Romans and discusses the transition from Galatians to Romans
  • 15.8 (490-492), 16.5 (516-519), 17.5 (556-561) – These are all conclusions and summaries to the different sections of Romans he discusses.
  • 18 (562-574) – Barclay provides his conclusions of the book.

Well there you have it! You can read Barclay’s Paul and the Gift in roughly 200 pages and get a general understanding of his argument and conclusions. I think it would be well worth you time to do so.

SBL Handbook Tip: Formatting Names of Publishers

Yesterday, looking through the SBL Handbook (2nd Edition), I came across section 6.1.4.1 Names of Presses, which lists the preferred bibliographic forms for publishers’ names (76) along with some other useful information. I’ve always struggled with discerning the format for publishers. For example, should is Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company supposed to be formatted as Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Wm. B. Eerdmans, or Eerdmans? Should the state be listed alongside the city like Wheaton, IL or left alone like Grand Rapids? All this and more is found in the handbook in section 6.1.4 pages 76ff.

This is a welcome update from the first edition, which only gives a few examples for formatting publishers and ambiguous about whether or not you include the state along with the city. Granted, not every publisher is listed but it does include over 500 publishers. If the publisher is not listed then the following guidelines are give, which is similar to the first edition:

If the title or copyright page lists more than one city, only the first city should ordinarily be used in the bibliography and notes (see CMS §14.135). When the city or publisher is not well known, reference to the state or country should be included. Be careful to do this consistently; thus if you name “Grand Rapids, MI” in one citation, you must include the state in every other citation of a publisher in Grand Rapids. On the use of two-letter postal abbreviations for state/province references, see §8.1.1 (82).

Another interesting tidbit related to publishers is

Presses named after a founder or family member are generally identified by the founder’s last name only (e.g., Brill rather than E. J. Brill; Eerdmans rather than Wm. B. Eerdmans). Presses named after a historical figure who was not a founder are identified by the full name (e.g., John Knox rather than Knox) (76).

Resources

  • Physical copy (link)
  • Kindle (link)
  • List of additions and rule changes to the second edition (link)
  • Accordance version (link)
  • Logos version (pre-order link)
  • SBL Series and Journal Abbreviations provided by Danny Zacharias (link)
  • SBL Style Guide Digital Supplement ($5) from Danny Zacharias (link), which includes:

    • Primary Literature Abbreviations
    • Serial and Abbreviations List in Word
    • How to Create a Scripture Index on a Mac
    • Screencast Tutorial for Creating an Abbreviations List

A Narrative Reading of Apollos and Paul (Acts 18:24-28; 19:1-7)

In our Acts seminar today we had a helpful discussion on the relationship of Acts 18:24-28 and 19:1-7. It seems that a cursory reading of scholars understand Apollos as being a Christian who just needs to understand the Gospel more fully while the disciples in Ephesus are clearly not Christians who need to hear the Gospel from Paul. David Pederson in his commentary on Acts sums the discussion up nicely:

It seems likely that some of John the Baptist’s disciples retained their distinctive beliefs for a while after his death and continued to urge other Jews to prepare for the coming of the Lord by accepting the baptism offered by John. While many of the Baptist’s disciples recognized in Jesus the fulfillment of their expectations, others may have had a mixture of beliefs and practices that fell short of the understanding and experience of mainstream Christianity as portrayed in Acts. Apollos and the Ephesian ‘disciples’ appear to have emerged from that sort of background. Apollos was clearly Christian when Priscilla and Aquila met him, but the Ephesians had not come so far when Paul encountered them1

From my brief examination of the two narrative I think Luke is presenting the two narratives not necessarily to show differences and similarities of the situation but rather the two provide two stories back-to-back that shed light on one another. My reasoning below is brief and I would love to hear any feedback you may have.

When we read these two narratives together we are presented with a more complete picture of the deficiencies of only following the teaching of John the Baptist. I take the story to present Apollos as a Jew who was following in the tradition of John the Baptist and proclaiming a message of repentance.

Acts 18:24-28

First, we can note that Apollos was well-versed in the scriptures, been instructed in the way of the Lord2, presented accurately the facts of Jesus, and was fervent in spirit (Acts 18:24-25).3 On the surface this seems to portray Apollos as a Christian who is preaching but needs further teaching from Priscilla and Aquila. The key caveat is that “he only knew the baptism of John (Acts 18:25).” Without the subsequent episode of Paul and the disciples in the next story we could easily read Apollos as a Christian preacher, as many commentators do, but Luke provides a subsequent story to give a more complete picture.

Acts 19:1-7

When Paul arrives at Ephesus he is greeted with whom he thinks are disciples. Upon meeting them he asks if they have received the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:2). When they reply that they didn’t even know of the Holy Spirit Paul quickly asks them how they were baptized (Acts 19:3). They respond that they were baptized in John’s baptism. Paul then tells them that John’s baptism was only a baptism of repentance and that they needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:4).

Conclusion

This last encounter sheds light on the situation with Apollos. Apollos, who only knew the baptism of John, was, according to the narrative flow of the two stories, only preaching a baptism of repentance. Indeed, he was preaching the things of Jesus and the way of the Lord in the same way that John the Baptist was. The things of Jesus do not necessarily have to refer to the acts and teaching of Jesus but instead could be in reference to the same Messianic expectations that John the Baptist was speaking of. This preaching was in preparation for the Messiah. But the Messiah has now come and the message is to believe on Jesus in order to receive the Holy Spirit and subsequently be baptized in his name.

Luke shows how Paul laid hands on the disciples then they received the Holy Spirit and were baptized. Afterwards they went about speaking in tongues and prophesying. Luke does not need to explicitly state that Apollos was converted at this time. But the similar situation in understanding the baptism of John in the next story makes it probable that he was converted during the “more accurate teachings of the ways of God” by Priscilla and Aquila. This story fills in the gaps of Apollos. Only knowing the baptism of John is only further defined in the subsequent story with Paul and the disciples.

Thus, reading the two stories together we get a clearer picture of why Priscilla and Aquila needed to teach Apollos more accurately the things of God. His message was not contrary but just deficient. It seems a more literary reading of the two stories together gives us a complete picture of Apollos.

  1. David G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles (The Pillar New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), 524. ↩︎
  2. This should not be understood as a reference to “The Way” as in Acts 9:2; (16:17); 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22. This is the only place with the modifier “of the Lord,” which may imply a reference to John the Baptist preparing the way of the Lord. All of references are just to “The Way,” which implies either the Christian message or sect. ↩︎
  3. I take this phrase to be an emotional state and not being fervent in the Holy Spirit ↩︎

QOTD: Acts for Christians Today

Something to think about when reading Acts…

They (Christians) can learn patience and faithfulness in mission in the midst of a world they do not control. The strong experience of resistance and rejection in Acts results in a necessary tempering of the mission. Peter and Paul are meant to impress us as powerful persons, but they are not all-powerful. The imprisonment of Paul is a particularly vivid indication of strong social limitations on the mission, and this imprisonment persists to the end of Acts. It does not change Paul's dedication to his task, as the final verses of Acts indicate, but Paul must learn to work within limits. He does so while maintaining trust in the purpose he is serving and in God's power to reach the ultimate goal. Such trust is supported by a perception of God as a God of surprises, indeed, a God who works by irony, who can use even opponents of the mission to move the divine purpose forward. The mission must work within limits, yet God repeatedly breaks out of these limits in ways that surprise both the church and its critics. Faithfully serving in mission while trusting in a God whose exact moves cannot be anticipated is part of the ongoing struggle of faith. The resulting life of service is a lesson in which we are repeatedly taught to push back our limited views of how God may act and whom God may use for the divine purpose. The church must be confident that it has a valid and important mission, as Peter and Paul are in Acts, yet it must recognize that God has other and surprising ways of working.

Tannehill, Robert C. The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts: The Acts of the Apostles. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989.

Theologians Reading the Gospels Audio/Video Links

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary recently held an event titled: Theologians Reading the Gospels. The audio/video is now released.

Doug Moo Lectures on James

Doug Moo, who wrote the excellent commentary on James in the Pillar series, a while ago taught on the book at the Master’s Seminary. I’ve listened to the first lecture and in typical Moo style he is clear and helpful regarding the introductor matters of James. I imagine the rest of the lectures to be just as good.

You can find the lectures here.

Scripture and Hermeneutics/Doctrine Seminar Event Information

St. George’s Centre for Biblical and Public Theology is putting on two events plus a dinner on November 20–21.

The first is the annual Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar on November 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm. The topic this year is “Worldview and the Old Testament.”

The second event is the inaugural meeting for the Scripture and Doctrine seminar, which will meet on November 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm followed by a dinner at 7:15. The topic is “Divine Fatherhood and Sonship” with presentations from Scott Hahn, Craig Bartholomew, and Daniel Keating.

Information

Event: Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar
Date: Friday, Novemeber 20, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Location: Marriott Hotel (Atlanta, Georgia)

Register here
More information

Event: Scripture and Doctrine Seminar
Date: Saturday, November 21, 2015
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:45 pm
Location: Hyatt Hotel (Atlanta, Georgia)

Register here
More information

Register for the dinner here

Hope to see everyone there!

Speeches in Ancient History and Acts

One of the more difficult issues faced when reading Acts is the speeches. Unlike today, speeches in the ancient world are generally not word for word transcripts of what actually happened. In the modern age we have recorders, videos, and typists who can provide an exact account of the content of speeches. In the ancient world this was not so and it was not necessarily the goal. The writers did not feel burdened by the lack of exactness because speeches needed to be shaped and molded to fit the narrative context of the writing where the speech occurs.

Martin Dibelius in his classic collection of essays, Studies in Acts, includes an essay titled, “The Speeches in Acts and Ancient Historiography.”[1] In this work he argues that analyzing speeches in the ancient world (including Acts) that one must not analyze the referent but how it fits within the narrative it is located (139). In other words, we should not be concerned about what actually happened in history but rather how it shapes the narrative where the speech is included. He makes a sharp distinction between the truthfulness of the speech and how the speech shapes the narrative. These are polar opposites and are not compatible in the writing of Luke.

Conrad Gempf in his essay, “Public Speaking and Published Accounts”, argues that we should not judge a speech on its accuracy but rather we should use the categories “faithful” or “unfaithful” to the historical referent.[2] He finds that these categories are more helpful and takes into account what is actually happening when writers of the ancient world include speeches. This allows one to say on the one hand the writer has liberty to shape and summarize a speech for the narrative while still being faithful to the content of the speech itself. Unlike Dibelius, who argues that if one shapes the speech for the narrative then it is “untrue”, Gempf argues that these are the wrong categories. Gempf goes on to argue that speeches generally reflect the style and vocabulary of the orator and not necessarily that of the historian but we should not say that we do not hear the historians voice in the speech as well. Speeches need to fit within the narrative and ancient historians have the freedom to shape the speech to do so.

He concludes that we can take into account two clues about the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of a particular account (1301):

  1. Traces of the alleged situation into which it was purported to be delivered.
  2. Traces of the personality and traits of the alleged speaker.

In the book of Acts, just because several of the speeches use David as part of their argumentation does not negate the faithfulness of the speech itself. We should not necessarily see this as a Lucan invention but rather need to examine each speech and judge its apparent faithfulness or unfaithfulness. It is not surprising that these Jewish speakers include the story of David in their account, which gives credence to the faithfulness of the speech.

I find Grempf’s categories of faithfulness and unfaithfulness helpful when examining the historicity of the speeches in Acts. We should not judge ancient writers based on modern standards. It is clear that there is some type of summarizing and/or adding to the speeches in light of subsequent events when Luke is composing his narrative for a particular purpose. It is also not surprising that the speeches give insight into the narrative arc that Luke is writing so to help develop his story. Recording history comprises of selection and deselection and forming a coherent story from the individual acts of history. Therefore, we should not be surprised when speech fits well into a narrative and helps shape and develop the story.


  1. Dibelius, Martin. Studies in the Acts of the Apostles. Mifflintown, Pa: Sigler Press, 1999.  ↩

  2. Conrad Gempf, “Public Speaking and Published Accounts,” in The Book of Acts in Its First Century Setting: The Book of Acts in Its Ancient Literary Setting (ed. Bruce W. Winter and Andrew D. Clarke; vol. 1; Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; The Paternoster Press, 1993), 1259–1303.  ↩

Augustine: Allegory and the Good Samaritan

Augustine often receives a bad rap for some of his allegorical exegesis. This is especially true of his interpretation of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10.29–37)[1], which has become the whipping boy for the supposed dangers of allegory. The Samaritan is Christ, the animal of the Samaritan is the flesh of Christ, the man coming down from Jericho is Adam, the robbers are the Satan and his minions, the inn is the church and inn keeper is the apostle. Modern day Hermeneutics 101: do not interpret the text like Augustine[2]!

But what would Augustine have to say against the charge of his “fanciful” interpretation?

In an essay by Ronald Teske[3] he gives three responses that Augustine may have given based on other writings on hermeneutics.

From The Confessions and his discussion of the creation account he argues that one may seek to determine what the author of Genesis intended but we shouldn’t stop there but we should also determine other truths that the passage shows us. Therefore, one may try to determine what Luke was saying in the parable but Luke would also want us to find other truths within the parable even if he did not have them in mind (354–55).

Second, it is true that Augustine does seek to find the sense or intent of what the author was writing but contrary to modern day exegesis he does not stop there. Some interpretations are hidden therefore we should “choose only that interpretation which sound faith prescribes” (355)[4]. We are also allowed to seek the truth that Scripture speaks of elsewhere to help us understand a passage. Also, lest we forget the divine author of Scripture, we can also see interpretations that “the Spirit of God who produced the passage through him certainly foresaw (356).” A passage of Scripture is not limited by the human author’s intent. Teske argues, “Augustine’s christological interpretation of the parable is in full accord with the Christian faith and also makes the point most effectively which John clearly taught in his Gospel (356).” Augustine’s allegorical interpretation aligns with a canonical reading of the Gospels as well.

Finally, Scriptural interpretation should ultimately lead to the love of God and love of neighbor. One may be able to get a sense of the words and exegete that authorial intention of a passage but if that has not led the reader to a greater love for God and neighbor that interpretation is in vain. Augustine’s interpretation of the parable is indeed useful for this purpose.

On the surface it may seem that Augustine produces an interpretation that is not in accord with proper hermeneutical methods. Augustine reads the parable in multiple ways: a “literal” interpretation along with a allegorical/christological interpretation. He does not limit himself to the historic sense but opens the text up to be read canonically, christologically, and ultimately in a way that builds up love of God and love of neighbor.

The image is Vincent van Gogh’s painting of the good samaritan. Image Credit: Art and the Bible


  1. David Gowler has a helpful series of posts on Augustine’s interpretation of the Good Samaritan: Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3  ↩

  2. It should also be noted that elsewhere Augustine does interpret the parable in a similar way as modern day exegetes by explaining that the parable shows us who is truly our neighbor. See Sermo CCXCIX and Contra mendacium.  ↩

  3. Roland Teske. “The Good Samaritan (Lk 10:29–37) in Augustine’s Exegesis.” In Augustine: Biblical Exegete, edited by Frederick Van Fleteren and Joseph C. Schnaubelt, 2 edition., 347–57. New York: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2001.  ↩

  4. De Genesi ad litteram I,xxi,41: CSEL XXVIII,31  ↩

New Book Series: The Apostolic Fathers Greek Reader

Near the start of 2013 Rick Brannan began a 2 Clement Faithlife reading group and subsequently William Varner offered to lead a Didache reading group. At that time I decided to see if I could make a useful PDF of vocabularly words for the Didache. I knew how to easily make a list of words occurring X amount of times but that wasn’t necessarily helpful since my the breadth of my vocabulary knowledge was based on the frequency in the New Testament. After much trial and error I figured out how to make a list of words that occurred 30x or less in the New Testament and cross-check that with every word in the Didache. The result was a list of words that I had not memorized from my NT studies regardless of how many times it occurred in the Didache.

Around the same time Shawn Wilhite, who I never met, was wanting to lead a reading group at the SBTS library on the Didache. Ironically, he found my blog post and contacted me to see if he could use the list. We came to find out that we were both students at Southern (I was still in my MDiv and he was beginning Phd work) so we got together and made some plans and he led the group.[1]

About a year past and Shawn had a great idea that we should build a reader for all the Apostolic Fathers writings. After much trial and error we finally figured out a format that we like and embarked on footnoting all vocabularly occurences occuring 30x or less in the New Testament. We quickly realized that this was going to take forever so we decided to elicit help from qualified people to work on the footnoting. I would provide them with the vocabulary list and they would do the tedious work of making footnotes for everything. Shortly thereafter, Michael Halcomb and Fredrick Long from GlossaHouse contacted us seeing if we would be interested in publishing the AFGR with them. We were estastic! GlossaHouse has already produced a number of extremely helpful Greek resources so we were honored to add this to the library.

Well, today is the today! The first volume of Ignatius’s letters is now available! You can purchase it here on Amazon.

Thanks to Fredrick Long and Michael Halcomb for both the opportunity to publish these resources and all their hard work to make this a reality.

The rest of the series will be released in the following order:

  • The Letters of Ignatius (Vol. 1)
  • The Didache and The Epistle of Barnabas (Vol. 2)
  • Polycarp, Papias, and Mathetes to Diognetus (Vol. 3)
  • 1–2 Clement (Vol. 4)
  • The Shepherd of Hermas (Vol. 5)

  1. Shawn is now one of my best friends who has helped shape me both personally and academically…who said blogging doesn’t have its benefits?!  ↩

Check out Abram K-J’s Accordance Webinar

Abram K-J is leading an Accordance webinar titled “Key Resources For Your Accordance Library” this Wednesday (9/23/15) at 12-1 pm EST.

Abram knows what he is talking about when it comes to Accordance (see his blog posts on this here). You should definitely check it out if you are interested in what resources are available and recommendations of what you should have in your library.

Sign up here.

Follow him on Twitter: @AbramKJ