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How and when did Jesus and the Spirit come to be regarded as fully God? The Birth of the Trinity offers a new historical approach by exploring the way in which first- and second-century Christians read the Old Testament in order to differentiate the one God as multiple persons. The earliest Christians felt they could metaphorically overhear divine conversations between the Father, Son, and Spirit when reading the Old Testament. When these snatches of dialogue are connected and joined, they form a narrative about the unfolding interior divine life as understood by the nascent church. What emerges is not a static portrait of the triune God, but a developing story of divine persons enacting mutual esteem, voiced praise, collaborative strategy, and self-sacrificial love. The presence of divine dialogue in the New Testament and early Christian literature shows that, contrary to the claims of James Dunn and Bart Ehrman (among others), the earliest Christology was the highest Christology, as Jesus was identified as a divine person through Old Testament interpretation. The result is a Trinitarian biblical and early Christian theology.
God saves the best for last. Of all the sixty-six books that comprise our Bible, the last book is meant to thrill and exhilarate the believer like none other. A beautiful Christ is unveiled while a company of overcoming saints is seen rising into the fullness of Christ. The book of Revelation is exciting, powerful, dynamic, and more than meets the eye. It must be more to us than merely an unveiling of events to come, but an experience of encountering Christ. God is ready to unveil this book to those in this generation who are ready to receive it, eat it, and live fully in the splendour of Christ. The Unveiling is more than a vision given to John but it is meant to be an inward discovery, a delightful unveiling within you. This is not a drama of Satan's worst, but a supernatural drama of God's best, pouring through his beautiful Son, Jesus Christ. It is carries one revelation alone - Christ unveiled in his people. To read this book with any other focus is to miss the entire centre of its meaning. There are other truths waiting for you to discover, but only after centring our gaze on this One, our Magnificent Obsession.
The guides in this series by Tom Wright can be used on their own or alongside his New Testament for Everyone commentaries. They are designed to help you understand the Bible in fresh ways under the guidance of one of the world's leading New Testament scholars.
Does the church have a future? Across the generations troubled Christians have often asked this question. Even as early as the end of the first century the future of the church hung in the balance. False teaching, internal division and persecution were rife. Emperor Domitian had exiled the apostle John, probably in his 90s, on the island of Patmos. You can imagine John, pacing up and down the island at night, looking across the sea to the cities on the shore, wondering, `Does the church have a future?' Into this situation the Lord comes and makes these glorious revelations. He gives John this vision and tells him to write to the seven churches of Asia Minor, in the eastern part of the Roman Empire, in what is now called Turkey. To each of these churches Jesus says, `I know... I know your hopes and dreams, your faults and failings, your joys and sorrows, your temptations and frustrations.' Jesus knew each church, and so he could speak wisely and truthfully into each circumstance. He said some hard things to shake the believers out of their apathy. He also spoke words of comfort. The letter ends by pointing the believers to heaven, a reminder that despite their present struggles, ultimately they are on the victory side. Today the church still faces internal division, opposition and persecution. It is understandable that some believers ask, `Does the church have a future?' The answer is the same as it always has been. Absolutely.
The ending of Mark's Gospel is one of the great unsolved mysteries. However, interest in the Markan conclusion is not a modern phenomenon alone. Comments about the different attested endings date back to Eusebius' Ad Marinum in the fourth century. Responding to the apparent discrepancy between the timing of the resurrection in Matthew and Mark, Eusebius notes one may solve the difficulty in one of two ways: either ignore the passage on the basis of the manuscript evidence or harmonize the two passages. Unfortunately, Eusebius' comments are all too often viewed through the lens of the modern text-critical endeavor, and for that reason, his intent has largely been missed. This volume argues that Eusebius' double solution can be read as recognizing the authority of both the Longer and the Abrupt conclusions to Mark's Gospel. The solution represents his ecumenical synthesis of those authors who preceded him, the faithful and pious" from whom the Scriptures have been received. Only with this understanding of the double solution may we fully appreciate Eusebius' dual reception.
This investigation into Paul's relationship with the church of Jerusalem draws on the insights of sociology to complement the historical-critical method. Taylor argues that the church of Antioch was, for a significant part of Paul's career, not merely the base of his missionary activities but also the community from which he derived his identity. His relationship with the church of Jerusalem must be understood accordingly. Paul's alienation from the Antiochene church in the aftermath of his confrontation with Peter meant loss of apostolic commission and social identity. Galatians reflects the reconstruction of Paul's personal and apostolic identity to compensate for this loss.
The Epistle of James lies on a wisdom trajectory that extends from the Old Testament through to the New. It is among the earliest of the New Testament writings, providing valuable insight into the process of transmission of the sayings of Jesus. By examining textual similarities between James and the early Jesus traditions, such as Q, QMt and QLk, Hartin argues that the Epistle of James is an independent witness to the existence of the Q source, as well as to the way in which this source developed within the Matthaean community which produced QMt.
The overall aim of this investigation of Mark 11.12-14, 20ff. is to ascertain the attitude to the Temple taken by the author of the earliest Gospel and his community. More specifically, it is a meticulous study of the most curious of all the Synoptic miracle-stories, in which the place of the story within the Markan redaction and subsequently in the Synoptic Gospels is explored. The study also entails a detailed exploration of the story's origin, background and Sitz in Leben prior to Mark, involving thorough consideration of the Old Testament and Jewish background of its motifs.
Towner explores traditional and more contemporary interpretations of Christian existence in the Pastoral Epistles, offering a valuable contribution to studies in this area.
This book seeks to rehabilitate the Q hypothesis as the most satisfactory explanation of the so-called double tradition.
A rich collection of essays exploring the meaning of 'apocalyptic' in the New Testament, by a variety of important scholars in the field.
A clear and accessible guide to John's Gospel, aimed primarily at people training to serve the church for whom English is an additional language. The contributors are theological educators who come from different countries and different religious backgrounds, and bring practical emphasis alongside contemporary scholarly reflection. The Gospel according to John is a very important writing for Christian tradition. It has a character all of its own, and presents a picture of Jesus of Nazareth which is both similar to the other gospels and yet very different from them.
A series of short, question-based study guides based around the New Testament For Everyone series. The series is intended to encourage groups to study the Bible using the For Everyone model. Experienced Bible study writers have selected excerpts and written questions that guide users through each passage. Reviewed, edited & approved by Tom Wright.
The Canon of the Bible and the Apocrypha in the Churches of the East features essays reflecting the latest scholarly research in the field of the canon of the Bible and related apocryphal books, with special attention given to the early Christian literature of Eastern churches. These essays study and examine issues and concepts related to the biblical canon as well as non-canonical books that circulated in the early centuries of Christianity among Christian and non-Christian communities, claiming to be authored by biblical characters, such as the prophets and kings of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament.
Short, question-based study guides based on the New Testament For Everyone series. Intended to encourage church (and other) groups to study the Bible using the For Everyone model. Experienced Bible study writers select excerpts and write questions that guide users through Tom Wright's thought on each passage. Reviewed and approved by Tom Wright.
"2009 Catholic Press Association Award Winner "
In "The Spiritual Landscape of Mark, " Bonnie Thurston has adapted a retreat that she gave to the Society of the Sacred Cross at Tymawr Convent in Wales, thereby inviting all of us to embark on this spiritual journey. Mark's gospel is full of places' desert, house, sea, valley, mountain, city, cross, garden and the winding roads between them. Thurston's prose invites us to go away to a quiet place and reflect awhile on what it means to be Jesus's disciple, to follow him across the hard landscape. Along the way there will be glimpses of his glory when he stills the storm and is transfigured on the mountain, when he heals the sick and feeds the hungry. Still, the primary lesson is the difficult way to which we are called, along with the great joy of knowing that Jesus has initiated the journey and leads us exactly where we need to go.
"Bonnie B. Thurston, PhD, lives in West Virginia in solitude. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the author of several books, including "Philippians" in the "Sacra Pagina" series and "Religious Vows, the Sermon on the Mount, and Christian Living" (Liturgical Press), and "Preaching Mark" (Fortress Press)."
In his previous book "The Origins of Christmas, " Joseph F. Kelly answers common questions about the development of Christmas rituals and legends, and explores the history of the holiday. In this book Kelly turns to the infancy narratives to see what the New Testament tells us about the Nativity. Readers will likely discover that their Christmas celebrations, cards, pageants, and cra ches are often combinations and embellishments of the gospel narratives. Yet each of these narratives is quite distinct, reflecting the author's talents and audience. In this practical book readers will: Encounter the stories in their gospel contexts and learn about the issues facing the early Christians as the gospels were being written. See the difference between the educator Matthew's approach for an audience of Jewish converts and the great literary artist Luke writing for a primarily Gentile audience. Look beyond the literal level of the stories to what it means that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, who came to live in the family of a carpenter and his wife Mary. Recognize the infancy narratives as an invitation to meet Jesus Christ, king and savior, arrived to fulfill God's plan on earth for al people.
"Joseph F. Kelly, PhD, is professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is author of "The Origins of Christmas, An Introduction to the New Testament for Catholics, The Collegeville Church History Timeline, "and "The Ecumenical Councils" (forthcoming), al published by Liturgical Press.""
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why; so that no one need by destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." Those familiar with any part of the Bible will recognize John 3:16, with a mind-altering difference. The words are fresh, new, and sound like the 21st century. That's because they are from "The Message," a presentation of the Word of God crafted for the modern age. Eugene H. Peterson, translator and editor, learned from his years of teaching and pastoring that most people, through familiarity or frustration with the Bible, were missing the whole message of Scripture, "the Word that God uses to create and save us, heal and bless us, judge and rule over us." So, he set out to give us that Word in language we use every day - an audio Bible that would penetrate our hearts and minds, transforming us day by day into the person God desires us to be. For more than 6 million readers, Eugene Peterson's unique style has opened up new understanding and insight into God's Word.
There has been a lack of serious historical investigation of the famous creedal statement 'Christ descended into hell' that was universally affirmed by the church for the first 1,500 years of Church history. This book is an in-depth investigation of the history of the doctrine of Christ's descent and how Revelation 1:18 alludes to Christ's descent. COMMENDATION "In The Battle for the Keys Justin Bass leads us through an exceptional exegetical, historical, and theological exploration of the question of both the whether and whither of the Christ's descensus ad infernos. Whatever doubters or believers choose to do with Dr Bass's competent and convincing evidence, arguments and conclusions, they cannot choose to ignore them." - Michael J. Svigel, Dallas Theological Seminary, USA
This book explores Christian origins by examining a key New Testament epistle, Paul's letter to the Galatian churches, seen by Christians as the charter of Christian liberty from the inherited Jewish law. The New Testament in Muslim Eyes provides a close textual commentary on perhaps the earliest declaration of Paul's apostleship and of his undying commitment to the risen Christ. It notes the subtleties of the Greek original against the backdrop of an exciting glimpse of Quranic Arabic parallels and differences. It asks: Does Paul qualify as a prophet of Allah (God)? The thoughts of Paul are assessed by examining his claims against the background of Islam's rival views of Abraham and his legacy. The Arabic Quran framed and inspired the life of the Arab Apostle, Muhammad, who was sent, according to Islam, to all humanity, Jewish and Gentile alike. Pauline themes are set in dialectical tension with the claims of the Quran. Akhtar compares and contrasts the two rival faiths with regard to: the resources of human nature, the salvation of the sinner, and the status of the works of the law. Both Christians and Muslims concur on the need for God's grace, an essential condition of success in the life of faith. The core Pauline Christian doctrine of justification by faith alone is scrutinised and assessed from a variety of non-Christian, especially Islamic, stances. Providing an Islamic view of Christian origins, this book helps to build bridges between the two religions. It will be a valuable resource to students and scholars of Biblical Studies, Islamic Studies, and the Philosophy of Religion.
The story of Mark is one of trauma and loss, but also one of healing and provisional selfhood. These themes reoccur time and time again throughout modern-day films, sculptures, graphic novels, and electronic media. By examining these contemporary interpretations of this particular early Christian gospel, this book breaks new ground in ways of understanding traditional religious texts. The authors use the Gospel of Mark as a resource enabling traumatized persons or groups to resist capitulation and restore at least partial identity, and do so in a way that avoids traditional theological or dogmatic assumptions. While not claiming the Gospel of Mark as the definitive or complete answer to experiences of pain and loss, this book models new ways of reading it for coping and healing.
Suffering in Ancient Worldview investigates representative Christian, Roman Stoic and Jewish perspectives on the nature, problem and purpose of suffering. Tabb presents a close reading of Acts, Seneca's essays and letters and 4 Maccabees, highlighting how each author understands suffering vis-a-vis God, humanity, the world's problem and its solution, and the future. Tabb's study offers a pivotal definition for suffering in the 1st century and concludes by creatively situating these ancient authors in dialogue with each other. Tabb shows that, despite their different religious and cultural positions, these ancient authors each expect and accept suffering as a present reality that is governed by divine providence, however defined. Luke, Seneca and the author of 4 Maccabees each affirm that suffering is not humanity's fundamental problem. Rather, suffering functions as a cipher for other things to be displayed. For Seneca, suffering provides an opportunity for one to learn and show virtue. The author of 4 Maccabees presents the nation's suffering as retribution for sin, while the martyrs' virtuous suffering leads to Israel's salvation. For Luke, the Lord Jesus suffers to accomplish salvation and restoration for the world marred by sin and suffering, and the suffering of his followers is instrumental for Christian mission.
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