Daily Gleanings: New Publications (21 August 2019)

Book cover for Vanhoozer, Newly out from Lexham Press is Kevin Vanhoozer’s Hearers and Doers: A Pastor’s Guide to Making Disciples Through Scripture and Doctrine. According to the publisher,

The value of sound doctrine is often misunderstood by the modern church. While it can be dry and dull, when it flows from the story of Scripture, it can be full of life and love. This kind of doctrine, steeped in Scripture, is critical for disciple-making. And it’s often overlooked by modern pastors.

In Hearers and Doers, Kevin Vanhoozer makes the case that pastors, as pastor-theologians, ought to interpret Scripture theologically to articulate doctrine and help cultivate disciples. scriptural doctrine is vital to the life of the church, and local pastor-theologians should be the ones delivering it to their communities.

The volume is now available at Amazon and other retailers. It is also available via Hoopla for if you have access to that service via your local public library.

In the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, Jason Ripley discusses “Glorious Death, Imperial Rome and the Gospel of John.” He summarizes,

This paper attends to the multifaceted way in which John both embraces and subverts Roman imperial values in its presentation of Jesus’ glorious death, and it situates the Fourth Gospel within the ideological complexity of
the early imperial period as a means of more precisely discerning how the Gospel of John relates to Roman imperialism. (34)

For the full essay, see the JGRChJ website.

James Dunn on Faith and Scholarship

To complement the current series on faith and scholarship over at Café Apocalypsis, we might note some interesting comments from James Dunn’s Jesus Remembered. Dunn favorably mentions Gadamer’s alliance with “those who want to maintain that faith is not in principle at odds with the hermeneutical process in its application to the study of the NT” (123) because the whole Jesus tradition began from a “faith stimulus” (127). That is, “the original impulse behind these records was . . . sayings of Jesus as heard and received, and actions of Jesus as witnessed and retained in memory” (129; emphasis original). This tradition emerged and was preserved “as an expression of faith” (132). All this is to say, as Dunn helpfully summarizes, that:

(1) The only realistic objective for any ‘quest of the historical Jesus’ is Jesus remembered. (2) The Jesus Tradition of the gospels confirms that there was a concern within earliest Christianity to remember Jesus. (3) The Jesus tradition shows us how Jesus was remembered; its character strongly suggests again and again a tradition given its essential shape by regular use and reuse in oral mode. (4) This suggests in turn that that essential shape was given by the original and immediate impact made by Jesus as that was first put into words by and among those involved or eyewitnesses of what Jesus said and did. In that key sense, the Jesus tradition is Jesus remembered (335).

Thus, because the Gospels are, self-evidently, documents originating from a belief in Jesus’ messiahship, all else being equal, the hermeneutical horizon (i.e., the interpretive possibilities allowed and preferred for the available data) of modern people who believe in Jesus’ messiahship is one step closer to the hermeneutical horizon from which the Gospels originated than that of modern people who dispute Jesus’ messiahship. Many other contingencies, of course, can still make fusing these horizons a difficult task that may produce different results ini different contexts, but this similarity of perspective on Jesus provides at least one firm point of tangency from which to begin.

In this post:

James Dunn
James Dunn