Scott Hafemann on the Importance of the Biblical Languages

“The purpose of reading the Bible for ourselves [in the original languages] is not, however, to out-commentary the commentaries . . . Nor is it to out-translate the translators . . . Rather, our own work in the text provides a window through which we can see for ourselves just what decisions have been made by others and why. Instead of being a second-hander, who can only take someone else’s word for it, a knowledge of the text allows us to evaluate, rather than simply regurgitate. Continue reading

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List of Witnesses to the NT Text

As part of my training for a vocation in New Testament studies, I have been attempting to gain some proficiency in New Testament textual criticism. To that end I have constructed a list of the manuscripts used in the UBS5 (= NA28) Greek NT by corpus according to century, with a summary of the most important witnesses to the major text types concluding each. My goal was to create a document that I could use to help me evaluate the witnesses to the various variants in the NT. You can access it here. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for its improvement!

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Adding to My Resources Page

I am in the process of adding to my resources page. The latest addition is a simple discourse diagram of John 1:19-34 that I worked up for the Greek reading group that I am leading for some of Dr. Black’s students who have graduated Greek 2. I have also added a chart of important NT interpreters from the 1600’s to today, and a chart of Second Temple literature. I hope you will check them out and let me know if you find anything helpful!

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A Brief Argument against Dispensationalism

I received my undergrad education at a dispensational institution, and I am often dismayed when I hear non-dispensationalists bash dispensationalists. The truth is that dispensationalists were holding to the authority of Scripture and other conservative doctrines when much of American Christianity was buying into liberalism. Furthermore, I received a great education in the Bible at a dispensational school, and was personally nurtured in my faith by several dispensational churches, so I owe a debt of gratitude to dispensational brothers and sisters who have loved and nurtured me in “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

However, I do not ultimately find dispensationalism convincing, and here I want to provide a brief argument for why that is. Continue reading

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Thoughts on Engaging the New Perspective on Paul

Our online class just finished up our discussions on the New Perspective on Paul (NPP). Many of the students had never heard of NPP before our class and there were a variety of responses to the topic. I wanted to leave the class with some direction on how to engage this issue (and others like it). Here, in bullet-point format, is the general approach to the topic that I left my students with.

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Augustine on Justification

Recently out NT2 class had an online discussion on the topic of the “New Perspective on Paul” (NPP). One of the issues revolves around N. T. Wright’s view of justification. Some people found themselves skeptical of Wright’s position on the basis of the fact that it is a “new” view in church history. In fact some cited Augustine as an example of the fact that justification by faith has always been the position of the church. Here is my response: Continue reading

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Jesus and the Law of Moses in Matthew 5:17-20

In the spring I took a seminar in Biblical Theology. One of the papers I wrote was on Jesus and the Law of Moses, specifically trying to untangle Matt 5:17-20. If you are interested in reading the paper, you can find it here. This was the conclusion I came to:

The conclusions of this study are as follows. First, as section III demonstrated, Jesus fulfills the normative and commanding aspects of the Law and the Prophets by means of his teaching. This is not so much to say that Jesus’ ethic is vastly superior to the OT ethic, as it is to say that Jesus’ teaching plays a role in the age of fulfillment that is analogous to the role that the Law and the Prophets played under the “age of promise.” Continue reading

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