Biblical references in writing theology

Earlier this month, Rick Brannan posted an analysis of the most frequently cited in a selection of systematic theologies. Rick has since made available on his blog the bibliography of systematic theologies that fed this analysis.

Meanwhile, Christianity Today picked up the post for further discussion. According to CT,

Perhaps most interesting—and potentially disturbing—is the dearth of Old Testament references among the 100 most-cited verses. This raises the question of whether the Old Testament is necessary for Christian theology, and whether it should be included in systematic theology more often.

Is such a strong preference for the same key verses, especially those in the New Testament, a problem in systematic theology? CT asked experts to weigh in.

There then follows a paragraph each from Kevin Vanhoozer, Craig Keener, John Stackhause, Michael Bird, Michael Allen, and William Dyrness.

Now Brannan has followed up at theLAB with the promised corresponding analysis for biblical theologies. This new analysis comments in part,

What is immediately striking to me is the frequency of Old Testament references. Systematic theologies had nine OT references in the top 100. In Biblical theologies, seven of the top ten references are from the Old Testament, and 29 of the top 100.

Twenty-nine is markedly larger than nine. But, the still-substantial slant to the New Testament perhaps suggests a tendency to do primarily “New Testament biblical theology” in practice, if not always in title. As a balancing resource, perhaps we need a new sub-publishing genre of “Old Testament biblical theology”?

More from JGRChJ in 2016

Since the last time I mentioned the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, several new articles have been posted to the 2016 volume. These are:

  • Preston T. Massey, “Women, Talking and Silence: 1 Corinthians 11.5 and 14.34-35 in the Light of Greco-Roman Culture
  • Hughson T. Ong, “The Language of the New Testament from a Sociolinguistic Perspective”
  • Jonathan M. Watt Geneva, “Semitic Language Resources of Ancient Jewish Palestine”
  • Stanley E. Porter, “The Use of Greek in First-Century Palestine: A Diachronic and Synchronic Examination”

For context, the latter three essays are introduced by the additional entry “The Languages Of First-Century Palestine: An Introduction To Three Papers.”

For the essays or to subscribe to the JGRChJ feed, please see the JGRChJ website.

HT: Rick Brannan

Biblical references in systematic theologies

At theLAB, Rick Brannan has an interesting post about the most frequently cited verses in a selection of systematic theologies. Especially by comparison with the size of the two testaments, New Testament references vastly outnumber Old Testament references (90% to 10% in the top 100 most frequently cited texts). As a supplement to the analysis, it might also be interesting to see a bibliography of the exact systematic theologies involved in the accounting would be interesting, as well as whether there would be some way of calculating whether the sample size is large enough to be statistically significant (e.g., within the publication date ranges represented).

Rick promises “a follow-up post that uses the same approach to Biblical Theologies.” That post is sure to provide some interesting results too. Meanwhile, see the full text of Rick’s post at theLAB.

Bauckham on the EerdCast

Stemming from the release of the second edition of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Eerdmans, 2017), the EerdCast has a new 48-minute interview with Richard Bauckham.

HT: Rick Brannan. For other discussion of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, see “Bauckham, ‘Jesus and the Eyewitnesses’ (2nd ed.),” “Bauckham on the Gospels as Historical Sources,” and “Gospel and Testimony.”

Oxyrhynchus Papyri Transcriptions from the Paulines

Geoffrey Smith has made available offprints of new transcriptions for 5258 (132), containing fragments of Eph 3:21–4:2, and 5259 (133), containing fragments of 1 Tim 3:13–4:8. Dated to the third century, 5259 (133) is the earliest published witness to 1 Timothy.

HT: Andreas Köstenberger, Brice JonesRick Brannan