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In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
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Abstract

Creatio ex nihilo is the dominant creation theory in the Christian tradition. Relational theologian Thomas Jay Oord proposes an alternative creation theory, in which God everlastingly creates from what he previously created. Key reasons why Oord argues creatio ex nihilo should be rejected are that it has Gnostic roots, is not explicitly taught in Scripture, and is illogical. This article critically assesses Oord’s arguments against creatio ex nihilo, contending that his conclusions are misguided due to a Biblicist tendency in his reading of the text and the inaccurate definition of creatio ex nihilo he argues against. With the biblical and historical data, a definition of creatio ex nihilo representative of the Christian tradition is articulated. This essay then demonstrates how creatio ex nihilo is superior to Oord’s alternative theory.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
Author:

Abstract

Responding to John Piper’s book, Providence (2020), and building on the work of Howard Snyder, this article articulates a Wesleyan-Arminian theology of ‘prevenient grace’. Highlighting Philippians 2:12–13, prevenient grace is articulated as a theological concept, rooted in the Bible, clearly expressed in the writings of James Arminius and made more widely accessible by the teaching of John Wesley. The theology of prevenient grace has been debated through the centuries and continues to be a primary point of distinction between those who would align their thinking to John Calvin (and Calvinism), in opposition to those who align with the teachings of John Wesley (and Wesleyan/Arminianism). From the perspective of God’s providence, the article identifies the slight, yet profound, difference between irresistible and prevenient grace. It argues that the caricature of Arminius’s, and therefore, Wesley’s teaching as Pelagian is unfounded. It concludes with suggestions of how the theology of prevenient grace offers a helpful framework for pastoral care.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology

Abstract

The Synoptic tradition, 4 Ezra, and Similitudes of Enoch all feature the Son of Man as a human yet divine eschatological judge, which is an innovative reinterpretation of the Danielic Son of Man. The question then becomes, who began this innovation? Given the generally monotheistic milieu of first-century Palestinian Judaism, the Synoptic tradition is most likely the source of this innovation. Why, however, would the Jewish/Jewish-Christian authors of 4 Ezra and Similitudes have taken their cue from the Synoptics in regards to this innovation? This article conjectures the possibility that Jesus’s own designation of the fall of the Jerusalem Temple as the beginning of the eschatological schema, at the end of which the Son of Man comes as an eschatological judge, may have inspired the authors of 4 Ezra and Similitudes for such adaptation of the Son of Man in the aftermath of the fall of the Temple.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
Author:

Abstract

This article explores the semantic value of ἀλήθεια in Ephesians with special attention given to its polyvalent nature and its potentiality for communicating the notion of ‘faithfulness’ rather than ‘truth’. First, an examination of instances of where ἀλήθεια indicates faithfulness in the LXX and the NT provides a broad hermeneutical viability for this enterprise. Second, a study of ἀλήθεια in Eph. 1:13; 4:21, 24, 25; 5:9; and 6:14 reveals a semantic shift in 5:9 and 6:14 wherein the author’s exhortation centers not on doctrinal truth, but embodying faithfulness as a child of the light and as a defense against the Devil’s schemes.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology

Abstract

Early Jesus films reveled in the traditional, historically inaccurate interpretation of Mary Magdalene as a penitent prostitute. While films produced since the 1980s are less heavy-handed in explicitly sexualizing or shaming Mary, promiscuity remains her most persistent trait. Traces of the penitent prostitute are detectable in The Chosen, a crowd-funded evangelical series on the life of Jesus which foregrounds Mary as a disciple. Her story arc in The Chosen mirrors that of the prostitute protagonist in Redeeming Love (2022), another evangelical film based on Francine River’s fictional adaptation of the Hosea/Gomer story. Both works adhere closely to what film scholar, Russell Campbell, identifies as the ‘martyr’ character type and ‘love story’ narrative structure commonly found in cinematic depictions of sex work. Ultimately, these films reinscribe patriarchal ideology when the woman is rescued and reformed by a virtuous man at risk of his own reputation.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum designed in the 1960s as a structured set of handbooks on ‘matters Jewish’ illuminating the origins of Christianity, has evolved into a series of monographs and collective works on the history and literature of Jews and Christians under Roman rule. Combining expertise in Jewish, Christian, and Roman literature and history, the series aims at covering Qumranic, Graeco-Jewish, early Christian, and rabbinic sources. The classic ‘historical introduction’ published in the two volumes of The Jewish People in the First Century (1974-76) will be complemented by a number of volumes debating historiographical axioms and methods and presenting a selection of sources and a ‘joint history’ of Jews and Christians in the first and second centuries CE. Apart from the volumes planned by the editors, other publication proposals will be taken into consideration. With all these updates in methodology, the series proudly continues the pioneering work set in motion by its founders half a century ago.

Board of Editors: Shaye Cohen (Harvard University), Matthijs den Dulk (Radboud University Nijmegen), David Goodblatt (University of California at San Diego), Christine Hayes (Yale University), Richard Kalmin (Jewish Theological Seminary of America), Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr (University of Jena), Pieter van der Horst (Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences), Huub van de Sandt (University of Tilburg), James VanderKam (University of Notre Dame). General Editors: Joshua Schwartz (Bar-Ilan University) and Peter Tomson (University of Leuven).

The series published two volumes over the last 5 years.
Series Editor:
The name of “Paul” continues to stand at the heart of New Testament studies — as one of the first and most important interpreters and promulgators of Jesus Christ. Wherever he went as missionary, teacher, and preacher, or wherever his letters went in his stead, he rarely failed to cause a reaction. Paul continues to stand at the centre of theology and controversy, as scholars and laity alike continue to respond to him.

This series of essay collections is edited by eminent New Testament scholar Stanley Porter. It offers an important contribution to New Testament scholarship in general, and particularly to Pauline scholarship, by focusing upon major areas of study in order to throw new light on various aspects of the man and his work. The scholars involved bring various interpretative methods to their task, depending upon their own approaches and the nature of the topic itself. The volumes progress logically through several issues of continuing importance in Pauline studies. As a result, the series is both broad in scope and focused in approach.

Pauline Studies constitutes a basic resource for all those interested in Paul, including New Testament scholars, students of early Christianity, and ancient historians.

The series has published two volumes over the last 5 years.