By the time you receive this issue of SCJ, I will have completed a 1 Corinthians commentary for the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, a new series published by Tyndale based on their New Living Translation. Very noticeable as I have moved along in my work is how consensus on various interpretive issues has shifted in the last thirty years, between F. F. Bruce and C. K. Barrett, two brilliant scholars who wrote commentaries in 1968 and 1971 respectively, and John Garland (2003), Anthony Thiselton (2000), Raymond Collins (1999), and Richard Hays (1997).
All these scholars of both these eras are committed Christians, know their Greek, are careful thinkers, and utilize up-to-date research. So, what happened to motivate these changes? The clear answer is that more research in the form of theses and articles has been done to contribute toward better understanding the many knotty problems in 1 Corinthians. Not only has it been done, it has been read and has made an impact. This is heartening to those of us who endeavor to engage in scholarly work and believe in its value. Reading papers on SBL, ETS, yes, and even papers at the SCJ conference has an important purpose in moving forward our understanding of the Bible we hold so dear.
Articles in volumes of SCJ, indexed in all major resources, get read too. One such article on 1 Corinthians published in SCJ 4.2 (Fall, 2001) 205-234, I enjoyed rereading was by Loren Stuckenbruck (University of Durham), Why Should Women Cover Their Heads Because of the Angels? It was fun to read other excellent articles by scholars from Stone-Campbell heritage, including: Richard Oster (Harding Graduate School of Religion), When Men Wore Veils to Worship: The Historical Context of 1 Corinthians 11:4, NTS 34 (1988) 481-505; Rollin Ramsaran (Emmanuel School of Religion), More Than an Opinion: Pauls Rhetorical Maxim in First Corinthians 7:25- 26, CBQ 57 (1995) 531-541; Jerry Sumney The Place of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 in Pauls Argument, JBL 119 (2000) 329-333.
Naysayers about the enterprise of NT scholarship look at these shifts in interpretation as confirmation of their skepticism and say, See, I told you so. Scholarship is a waste of time. It only confuses things by changing interpretations all the time. I am just going to read the Bible. Stone-Campbell Journal 10 (Spring, 2007) 13 Editors Preface My response is that reading the Bible is great, but there is a time and place for reading our Bibles alongside informed interpretation, even if it is in the form of a study Bible. Also, those with responsibilities for teaching and preaching in the church need to be reminded to make attempts to keep informed by adding new commentaries to our shelves once in a while. We should not make what we were taught by our professors in college our only basis for understanding. Great, new, eyeopening information can be at our fingertips.
Interpretation itself is the very human effort to understand the Bible the best we can with the inquiring minds God has given us. Over the 2,000 years of Bible interpretation advances have been made even as human civilization and knowledge has advanced. This should not be sneered at. We have learned things, things about Greek language, Jewish and Greek culture, methods of interpretation, and much more. We who study the Bible today are beneficiaries of the work of others, even the work of those whose ideas were eventually overturned and now no longer appear in publications, not even as a minority opinion in a footnote. We who are scholars desire to contribute to this enterprise, even with very little recognition, because we believe in the Bibles value as Gods precious resource to communicate to people in every generation and in every culture. This resource is inexhaustible as is the ingenuity of people to better understand it. SCJ purposes to enable, encourage, and make available the scholarly work of those who identify with the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement to the larger world of biblical scholarship.
In the interests of understanding the state of scholarship in the Stone-Campbell Movement, this volume continues with the second of three articles originally presented at a meeting of the Stone-Campbell Dialogue in Dallas, TX, in 2005, begun by the publication in the last issue of Mark Hamiltons analysis of Churches of Christ (a cappella). Eugene Boring, an outstanding NT scholar in his own right, having most recently published a significant commentary on the Gospel of Mark in the Westminster John Knox New Testament Library (2006), continues the series with his article on the Disciples of Christ. Boring (Professor Emeritus, Brite Divinity School) maintains a keen interest in how scholarship is done in the Stone-Campbell Movement, having contributed a unique book in this area almost a decade ago (Disciples and the Bible, Chalice, 1997).
This issue also places in print the presentation of John Castelein at the SCJ 10 (Spring, 2007): 13 2 2006 SCJ conference on the challenges Christians face with neurosciences study of the brain. This will also be SCJs sponsored lecture this year at the NACC in Kansas City. Also, Dennis Lindsay provides provocative thoughts on the Lords Supper from a wider perspective than we normally consider. Jim Estep challenges ministers and educators to think theologically about what Christian education is in the church. Mark Alterman offers a unique article for SCJ that encourages readers to explore electronic resources for biblical language studies. Holly Carey, a graduate of Atlanta Christian College, soon to complete her Ph.D. in NT at University of Edinburgh, shows how a careful reading of the Greek text of Mark 11:15-19 provides critical clues to how it is to be interpreted.
SCJ readers will notice a few changes in the editorial board with this issue. Jon Weatherly and Doug Foster, both of whom have had significant roles to play from the very beginning of SCJ almost 10 years ago, have stepped down as editors to serve on the governing board of Stone-Campbell International, the non-profit organization that publishes SCJ. Added to the editorial board is John Harrison, Professor of NT and Ministry, Oklahoma Christian University, who has been serving capably as a Consulting Editor. Added as Consulting Editors are Jerry Sumney, Professor of Biblical Studies, Lexington Theological Seminary, and D. Newell Williams, President and Professor of American Religion, Brite Divinity School. Both have been active participants in SCJ matters, including the conference, for many years. With their addition, we are pleased to be able to say that SCJ truly is a journal for all streams of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.
Finally, the SCJ website has been totally revamped. Take a look, remembering that all the new features may take some time to be fully enabled. In addition to the features on our old site that included a searchable list of articles and reviews, contributor information, subscription information, and Promising Scholars lists, the new website will provide the ability to subscribe and renew online, download and pay for articles individually, plus offer great quotes from new journal issues chosen by selected graduate students. Eventually to be added will be a level of SCJ membership that will allow people access to full-text articles from all issues of the journal electronically, a job board for connecting schools and prospective hires, a memorial page, cool t-shirts, and more.
William R. Baker, Editor
As a model for Scripture the church at-large, or world church, reflects the universality of the Christian canon, as well as the diversity, inner tensions, and even contradictions apparent within the constituent units of the canon. As the Bible is read, heard, and sacramentally performed within the context of the world churchand especially within the context of the Eucharist celebrationthe diverse voices in Scripture are allowed to converge, contradictions may be faced and tensions embraced, and the possibility for a holistic approach to biblical interpretation promises to emerge.
The essay has two parts: (1) A brief sample of interpretative comments that a typical Disciple might make on Rom 14:115:9, emphasizing historical and literary context and the hermeneutical transition to contemporary meaning. (2) Nine theses describing Disciples biblical interpretation, emphasizing the variety of approaches practiced by contemporary Disciples, the difference between being addressed by the Word of God in Scripture and understanding its meaning, the absence of a restorationist perspective, and the relation of interpretation to authority.
Christians have traditionally believed that each person is endowed by God with a soul, an immaterial substance encompassing the essential person that survives death. Neuroscience, in its ever-expanding exploration of human consciousness, has found no evidence for such a unified substance. On the contrary, many leading neuroscientists have concluded that all mental activities are reducible to brain activities. This article suggests resources from the Bible and neuroscience that Christians can use to preserve the belief that the human spirit transcends the human brain.
As Christian educators ponder the future direction of Christian education, one critical question is the degree to which theology influences the form and substance of education that is Christian. The theological base of education has become an assumption within the Christian community, serving as a foundation, framework, or core of education that is Christian. However, the degree of theological influence varies among Christian educators. This study advocates a high level of integration between theology and education and itemizes the benefits for Christian education and educators in the church.
Serious study of ancient languages was essential to the early leaders of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. Today, study of ancient languages can be enhanced by using multimedia resources. Various resources are surveyed, mostly Internet-based. Resources are included for Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Medieval Italian, Coptic, Egyptian, Aramaic, Arabic, Sanskrit, Akkadian, and Ugaritic. Comments relating to the pronunciation and reading of ancient texts are interspersed in the descriptions.
The Gospel writers often use Scripture to help describe and define Jesus ministry. However, there is debate about whether they cite or allude to these Scriptures atomistically or contextually. Through an examination of the citation of Isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11 in the context of Jesus prophetic temple act in Mark 11:15-19, this essay seeks to underscore the importance of the narrative introduction of a citation in determining whether it is being used contextually or atomistically. In this case, the presence of the inceptive imperfect is a narrative indicator that the larger contexts of Isaiah 56 and Jeremiah 7 should be allowed to illumine the meaning of Jesus actions in the temple.
Elder John SPARKS. Raccoon John Smith: Frontier Kentucky?s Most Famous Preacher. Lexington, KY: The University of Kentucky Press, 2005. 504 pp. $45.00.
Mark A. NOLL and Carolyn NYSTROM. Is the Reformation Over? An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005. 272 pp. $24.99.
Garrett J. DEWEESE and J.P. MORELAND. Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult: A Beginner?s Guide to Life?s Big Questions. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005. 171 pp. $15.00.
Michael J. SANDEL. Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. 292 pp. $25.95.
Peter KREEFT and Trent DOUGHERTY, eds. Socratic Logic: A Logic Text Using Socratic Method, Platonic Questions, & Aristotelian Principles. 2nd edition. Indianapolis: St. Augustine?s Press, 2005. 408 pp. $40.00.
Philip SHELDRAKE, ed. The New Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2005. 680 pp. $44.95.
Steven PAULSON. Luther for Armchair Theologians. Illustrated by Ron Hill. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2004. 224 pp. $12.95.
Sung Wook CHUNG, ed. Christ the One and Only: A Global Affirmation of the Uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005. 240 pp. $24.99.
Wayne GRUDEM. Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2006. 272 pp. $7.99.
David F. WELLS. Above All Earthly Powers: Christ in a Postmodern World. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005. 353 pp. $25.00.
David E. FITCH. The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005. 263 pp. Paper, $14.99.
Chad Owen BRAND and R. Stanton NORMAN, eds. Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2004. 368 pp. $19.99.
Mary E. HESS. Engaging Technology in Theological Education: All That We Can?t Leave Behind. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield, 2005. 157 pp. $22.95.
Richard R. LOSCH. The Uttermost Part of the Earth: A Guide to Places in the Bible. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005. 260 pp. $16.00.
Leo. G PERDUE. Reconstructing Old Testament Theology: After the Collapse of History. Overtures to Biblical Theology Series. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005. 399 pp.
James K. HOFFMEIER. Ancient Israel in Sinai: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Wilderness Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 336 pp. $45.00.
John J. COLLINS. The Bible after Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005. 201 pp. $18.00.
Paul J. KISSLING. Genesis Volume 1. The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press, 2004. 392 pp. $32.99.
J. Alec MOTYER. The Message of Exodus: The Days of Our Pilgrimage. The Bible Speaks Today. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2005. 327 pp. $16.00.
Craig A. EVANS. Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies: A Guide to the Background Literature. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2005. 539 pp. $34.95.
Robert B. STEWART, ed. The Resurrection of Jesus: John Dominic Crossan and N.T. Wright in Dialogue. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006. 220 pp. $18.00.
George J. BROOKE. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005. 314 pp. $40.00.
April DECONICK. Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth. London, NY: T & T Clark, 2006. 288 pp. $55.00.
John NOLLAND. The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005. 1481 pp. $80.00.
Craig G. BARTHOLOMEW, Joel B. GREEN, and Anthony C. THISELTON, eds. Reading Luke: Interpretation, Reflection, Formation. Scripture and Hermeneutics Series, vol. 6. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005. 484 pp. $39.99.
Ben WITHERINGTON III and Darlene HYATT. Paul?s Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004. 421 pp. $36.00.
Marianne Meye THOMPSON. Colossians and Philemon. The Two Horizons New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005. 287 pp. $20.00.
Perry L. STEPP. Leadership Succession in the World of the Pauline Circle. New Testament Monographs 5. Sheffield: Phoenix, 2005. 227 pp. $22.50.
Quotables for this issue where chosen by Alisha Paddock, Graduate Student, Emmanuel School of Religion
"Biblical interpretation that is rooted and steeped in sectarianism or in parochialism is bound to be distorted and flawed"
"In the context of the world church . . . we ultimately recognize that Holy Scripture does not belong to anyone unless it belongs to everyone" (14).
"Interpretation is the way we appropriate textsthe only way."
"We belong to the church, the ongoing people of God in continuity with the biblical communities of faith to which all Scripture was addressed" (34).
"In the Bible, the human is a living soul."
"[Theological integration] provides a means through which faith may be consistently expressed both in the lives and ministries of Christian educators lives."
"Theology helps Christian educators identify what can be considered Christian in education."
"New Testament epistles certainly were performed before a living congregation as an act of worship, instruction, and encouragement" (78).
"Whether or not a move to adopt modern Greek pronunciation will ever occur, students should be introduced to the issue, since it does have bearing on textual criticism."
"In this case, the larger contexts of Isaiah 56 and Jeremiah 7 do enhance the Markan passage, addressing issues beyond a surface critique of the economic practices of the temple by labeling its authorities as insurrectionists whose agenda threatens to thwart the universal salvation of God"