According to the publisher, the volume addresses a “‘me and my Bible’ approach to theology”:
This book aims to set forth a vision for how engaging historical theology can enrich and strengthen the church today—and highlight how it can be done without abandoning a Protestant identity. By addressing two key doctrines—the doctrines of God and the atonement—and drawing from neglected theologians—Boethius, Gregory the Great, and John of Damascus—this book charts a course for evangelicals eager to draw from the past to meet the challenges of the present.
This volume includes English translations of several documents written by the Luciferians, a group of fourth-century Christians whose name derives from the bishop Lucifer of Cagliari, that highlight connections between developments in Christian theology and local Christian communities in the course of the fourth century. The most important document, the Luciferian petition called the Libellus precum, has never been published in English. The theological tract De Trinitate was last published in English in an otherwise unknown anonymous version from 1721. An introduction provides an overview of the development of late antique theology and Christianity, a discussion of Luciferian beliefs, and discussions of the texts.
Forthcoming from Bloomsbury this November is Matthew Crawford and Nick Zola’s The Gospel of Tatian: Exploring the Nature and Text of the Diatessaron.
The volume is currently available for pre-order. Ahead of the volume’s release, Bloomsbury has published an interesting interview with the editors about the volume. They comment, in part,
There are several provocative chapters in this volume. Francis Watson contends that the Diatessaron is much better read as a Gospel in its own right, and not a gospel harmony. James Barker, on the other hand, suggests that however Tatian might have classified his work, he could not have hoped to supplant the Gospels that came before him. Ian Mills argues that what is commonly considered the oldest surviving fragment of the Diatessaron (the Dura Fragment) is actually a piece of some other gospel harmony entirely. Charles Hill overturns a general consensus by demonstrating there is no direct evidence that Tatian employed extra-canonical written Gospels as sources for the Diatessaron. Finally, the opening chapter features the last published essay of a recently passed pioneer of the field, Tjitze Baarda; and the final chapter (by Nicholas Zola, one of the co-editors) calls for a moratorium on citing the Diatessaron in the apparatus of the Greek New Testament, after tracing the general failure of this enterprise.
Benjamin Giffone has an interesting article in the most recent issue of the European Journal of Theology, entitled “Technologising of Word and Sacrament: Deuteronomy 14:24–26 and Intermediation in Worship.” According to the abstract,
This paper explores the effects of introducing intermediating technologies into worship, through the lens of media ecology. Just like ‘writing is a technology that restructures thought’ (Walter Ong), so other human technologies restructure the meaning of worship. The codex permitted a defined scriptural canon to be promulgated and accepted in the early church. The ancient Israelites were required to offer both raw materials (live animals) and offerings that were transformed through human labour and technology (grain cakes, wine). Deuteronomy 14:24-26 introduces the intermediating technology of trade into the sacrificial process. The invention of unfermented grape juice in the nineteenth century and its use in the Eucharist necessitated the use of individual cups. These intermediations transform the worshippers’ understanding of communion with God in both positive and negative ways. Scripture and church history offer contemporary churches resources to wrestle with the transformative effects of electronic technologies on worship and engagement with Scripture.
Benj also offers to send the full article to those who request it by email if they can’t access it already through an existing subscription or database.
Cambridge Core has an interesting essay by Collin Cornell on intersection between Brevard Childs and Julius Wellhausen. Cornell’s fuller essay on the topic is also openly available from the Harvard Theological Review. According to the abstract,
Julius Wellhausen proposed a “sharp break” between ancient Israelite religion and early Judaism: for him, the eighth-century prophets were the “spiritual destroyers of old Israel” and the forerunners of early Judaism. The biblical theologian Brevard Childs rejected Wellhausen’s reconstruction and insisted instead that “very strong theological continuity” characterized the development of Israelite religion from its outset. Numerous contemporary theological interpreters share Childs’s perspective. However, a “Wellhausen renaissance” is currently underway in the study of Israelite religion and early Judaism. This situation poses an unresolved challenge for theological interpretation, at least of the kind that Childs advocated. The present article addresses this dilemma. It first inventories Childs’s reasons for opposing Wellhausen’s sharp break, which emerge from Childs’s vision for scriptural “theo- referentiality.” Secondly, it tests whether Childs’s theological insights, the very same that led to his repudiation of Wellhausen, might accommodate Wellhausen’s historical claim. The final result is to set Wellhausen and Childs, historical reconstruction and theological interpretation, in a noncompetitive relationship.
Difficulty making progress (e.g., toward an advanced degree) might not mean you need to go another way so much as it might be a call for grit and creativity in finding new ways to continue taking steps forward.
Faithlife has launched a new journal specifically for faculty, Didaktikos, which focuses on issues related to theological education. The primary editor is Douglas Estes, and the editorial board includes Karen Jobes, Randolph Richards, Beth Stovell, and Douglas Sweeney. The inaugural issue includes authors and topics of broad interest:
• Mark Noll talks about teaching with expertise and empathy.
• Craig Evans, Jennifer Powell McNutt, and Fred Sanders write about recent trends in biblical archaeology, church history, and theology (respectively).
• Grant Osborne shares wisdom from his 40-year teaching career.
• Craig Keener writes about writing.
• Jan Verbruggen covers some fascinating research into the earliest alphabet (and it’s not Phoenician).
• Joanne Jung has written a helpful article on how to write effective prompts for online discussions.
• Darrell Bock discusses an overlooked area of NT studies.
• Stephen Witmer, an adjunct at Gordon-Conwell, shares solid insights about the synergy between teaching and pastoring.
“Textual reasoning” covers an area of convergence between philosophical and interpretive interests. The Journal of Textual Reasoningis an open-access publication from the Society for Textual Reasoning.