Some Reflections on an Evangelical Approach to the Study of Christian Scripture

Scripture is divine-human speech that is trustworthy and transformative. The fact that Scripture is divine-human speech can be established from 2 Peter 1:21: “… men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (my translation). In George Ladd’s words, “The Bible is the Word of God given in the words of men in history.” The fact that Scripture was composed by human authors means that Scripture is part of this natural world; this authorizes research and study into the natural dimensions of Scripture: linguistics, social-scientific criticism, literary criticism, source and redaction criticism, historical background studies, textual criticism—all of these are legitimate areas of inquiry that pertain to the human authorship of Scripture.

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Grace Baptist Church Spring 2021 Sunday School: NT Survey

In Spring 2021, I had the privilege of teaching a NT Survey for our church’s Adult Sunday School. We looked into some of the basic issues related to the NT overall, and then surveyed the four Gospels. Below you will find the videos for each week, along with any links to other resources I thought might be helpful. We hope you find this edifying for your relationship with God through faith in his Son, Jesus, the Messiah. Continue reading

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My Dissertation Is Available on ProQuest

Exciting news! My dissertation, The Theme and Structure of the Didache: A Study in Discourse Analysis, is available on ProQuest!

The abstract is as follows: Continue reading

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Syriac Resources

Dear readers, many of you know one of my interests is the languages in which the Old and New Testaments were written and/or preserved. I spent some time this past year studying Syriac, which is a dialect of Aramaic into which the Scriptures were translated in the early church. It is considered one of the three most important languages for the early text of the NT (along with Latin and Coptic). Below you will find resources pertaining to the study of Syriac, which I’ll plan on updating from time to time. You’ll find introductions to Syriac, Syriac grammars, Syriac lexicons, Syriac New Testaments, and other resources. 

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The Redundant Personal Pronoun in Matthew 5:5

Matt 5:5: μακάριοι οἱ πραεῖς, ὅτι αὐτοι κληρονομήσουσιν την γῆν.

Most English translations render the second clause something like “… for they shall inherit the earth” (NASB). (See the examples below from Bible Hub.) Continue reading

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Trials Are the Best Education Our Heavenly Father Could Afford

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

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Greek Attributive Participles versus Relative Clauses

Hayes, Michael E. An Analysis of the Attributive Participle and the Relative Clause in the Greek New Testament. Studies in Biblical Greek, Vol. 18. New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2018.

Since the Greek relative clause and the attributive participle are often translated into English using the English relative clause, they are often viewed as equivalent. The author of this book undertook this study to find out the difference between them. His conclusion was as follows (p. xvi):

  • The attributive participle is usually restrictive (except under certain prescribed conditions).
  • The relative clause is primarily nonrestrictive (when both constructions are feasible both grammatically and stylistically).

I’ve often wondered about the difference between these two constructions, and I’m offering below my summary of his conclusion below in order to make his research available to Greek students such as myself. If your interest is piqued by this summary, I recommend that you check out the author’s monograph for the full argument. Continue reading

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A Short Review of R. R. Reno and John J. O’Keefe, Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible (2005)

Early in the book the authors use the metaphor of building a house and say that just like building a house has both structure and materials, so the patristic exegesis also had structure and materials. They state that their goal is not to explain the materials with which the fathers worked (e.g., philosophical presuppositions, etc.), but rather the structure of their exegesis (the kinds of interpretive moves they would make). The fathers tend to make a number of interpretive moves that we moderns find counter-intuitive, and this book aims to show the logic behind the fathers’ exegesis. Continue reading

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A Short Review of Hans Boersma, Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry

A while back I read the book Heavenly Participation, by Hans Boersma. I really enjoyed it and found it helpful. Here’s the gist: Continue reading

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Coptic Resources

Coptic is a form of Egyptian written using Greek letters with some letters brought in from Demotic. Coptic majuscule manuscripts therefore look like ancient Greek manuscripts, except for the presence of the letters ϣ, ϥ, ϫ, ϭ, and ϩ. Coptic is important for the textual criticism of the New Testament because it (along with Latin and Syriac) is one of the earliest languages into which the New Testament was translated. In addition, there is a rich history of early Christian sources that were either written in or translated into Coptic. (For example, my own interest in Coptic stems from the fact that one of the earliest manuscripts of the Didache is a Coptic fragment from around the 5th century, pictured below.) Continue reading

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