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Volume 3 Issue 2

Editor's Preface

Appreciation for scholarship in the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ continues to rise. Evidence for this was undeniable at this year's North American Christian Convention, held July 11-14 at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. Each morning of the convention, a Theological Forum was held from 11:00-12:00. Over 200 people packed the room to hear SCJ editors Doug Foster and Jon Weatherly and SCJ author Bruce Shields deliver stimulating lectures on deep but important theological issues: "Christology in the Stone-Campbell Movement: Orthodoxy or Heresy," "The Writer's Purpose versus the Reader's Purpose: Interpreting Acts Theologically," and "The Hermeneutic of Alexander Campbell: Then and Now." Although one might presume that the attendees mostly were Bible college and seminary faculty, this was not the case. In fact, most were ordinary church folk who simply desired to know more about their faith and their Christian heritage. This is a good sign that SCJ has come at the right time to minister to people such as these.

This kind of enthusiasm for learning and scholarship is also evident at the various annual lectureships hosted by many of the A Cappella Churches of Christ around the country, such as at Harding, Freed-Hardeman, Faulkner, Pepperdine, Abilene, and Lipscomb. Hundreds attend thoughtful and challenging workshops and main sessions. We at SCJ hope to be a responsible contributor to this hopeful trend by continuing to publish significant articles and valuable book reviews in each issue. In this issue, SCJ for the first time touches on a subject which has dominated Stone-Campbell discussion from the very beginning in early 1800s America: unity. Dan Gannon's compelling article attempts to establish a common faith in the basics of the gospel message as a biblical and workable basis for unity among Christians in all ages. I invite future articles to continue to explore this vital issue.

Our first article on the current matter of the role of women in the church appears in this issue of SCJ. In his detailed article, Jack Cottrell challenges common arguments from feminist interpreters regarding the gender of Jesus. Hopefully, this article will motivate others to submit articles which explore various aspects of this contemporary issue facing the church.

Those of you who enjoyed Brian Messner's article in the Fall, 1998 issue (Vol. 1, no. 2) establishing the beginning of John the Baptist's ministry at AD 29 via the reference to the fifteenth year of Tiberius mentioned in Luke 3:1 will appreciate his attempt in his article in this issue to apply carefully what is known of Roman history to Pontius Pilate and his reaction to the crowd at Jesus' trial.

Two NT articles in this issue tackle significant exegetical matters. Clay Ham, who previously authored a well-prepared article for SCJ in the inaugural issue, Spring, 1998, on "The Title 'Son of Man' in the Gospel of John," carefully examines 1 Tim 3:16, which celebrates the incarnation and the exaltation of Christ. Ronald Nickelson intricately examines the word commonly translated "good conscience" in 1 Pet 3:21 and concludes that something like "verdict" has better support, thus making baptism in this passage part of a Christian's justification.

The OT article from Mark Hahlen is a fascinating examination of how the imagery of horses function in the interpretation of Zechariah.

Finally, I wish to encourage SCJ readers to renew your subscriptions promptly when you receive notification. As a fledgling enterprise, SCJ needs to be able to count on your financial support to continue to make Christian Church and Church of Christ scholarship available. For a very large number of you, this is your last issue without renewal. Please take time to take care of this practical matter and when you do so, consider choosing automatic renewal. This will allow you to enjoy uninterrupted reception of SCJ without the yearly hassle of renewal. It also saves hassle for us. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about SCJ, please feel free to write me at

William R. Baker, Editor

Community Bible Church, Marshall, MN


This article argues that the Bible’s only doctrinal standard for Christian fellowship is a shared adherence to the gospel. Therefore, the doctrinal standard for fellowship in any Christian organization (e.g., Churches, theological societies, Christian colleges) should be limited to a shared adherence to the gospel.

Cincinnati Bible Seminar


If Jesus was the prototypical feminist, as Christian feminist interpreters claim, why did he become incarnate in male form? Feminists explain this as cultural accommodation or say the NT actually describes Jesus only as a a[nqrwpo"  (anthro¯pos, “genetically human”) not specifically as male. A careful study of the biblical text shows their arguments are without foundation.

Lincoln Christian College


If Jesus was the prototypical feminist, as Christian feminist interpreters claim, why did he become incarnate in male form? Feminists explain this as cultural accommodation or say the NT actually describes Jesus only as a a[nqrwpo"  (anthro¯pos, “genetically human”) not specifically as male. A careful study of the biblical text shows their arguments are without foundation.

Dallas Christian College


As a preformed tradition, 1 Tim 3:16 has both creedal and hymnic characteristics. Structurally, the identification of three stanzas with two lines each best suits the antithetical parallelism of the hymn. Collectively, the hymn affirms Christ’s incarnation and exaltation. The parallel couplets express somewhat synonymous conceptions. Lines 1 and 2 speak of the revelation of Christ. Lines 3 and 4 express the proclamation of Christ. Lines 5 and 6 declare the reception of Christ.

Standard Publishing


First Peter 3:21 speaks of baptism as related to a “good conscience.” Key to a valid rendering of this genitive is a proper translation of ejperwvthma (epero¯te¯ma) which is also found in QDaniel 4:14 [17]. With this word understood to mean “verdict” in both QDaniel 4:14[17] and 1 Pet 3:21, the “good conscience” genitive will naturally be subjective rather than objective. These conclusions support the concept that baptism more properly belongs to the realm of justification rather than the realm of sanctification in the order of salvation.

Dallas Christian College


Equine imagery appears as a dominant motif at key locations in the book of Zechariah. Its use highlights the transformations that Yahweh will work out for his people and within his people. This study demonstrates how the placement and variations of the equine motif emphasize significant components of Zechariah’s message. It also assists the reader to visualize and understand better those images in the Zechariah texts by presenting background information concerning horses in the ancient Persian and Hebrew milieus.

Download book reviews for this issue.

Stephen V. Sprinkle, Disciples and Theology: Understanding the Faith of a Covenant People

Douglas A. Foster (Abilene Christian University)

Fred Craddock et al., In the Fullness of Time: A History of Women in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Richard Cherok (Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary)

William H. Newman and Peter L. Halvorson, eds., Atlas of American Religion: The Denominational Era, 1776-1990

Gary Holloway (Lipscomb University)

Erwin Fahlbusch et al., eds., The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume 1

Philip E. Orr (Florissant, MO)

John Polkinghorne and Michael Welker, eds., The End of the World and the Ends of God: Science and Theology on Eschatology

Ron Highfield (Pepperdine University)

John Finnis, Aquinas: Moral, Political, and Legal Theory

James Riley Estep (Kentucky Christian College)

Philip D. Kenneson, Beyond Sectarianism: Re-Imagining Church and World

Lonnie Spencer (Henderson (NV)

Charles C. West, Power, Truth, and Community in Modern Culture

Robert C. Wetzel (Emmanuel School of Religion)

Ellen T. Charry, By the Renewing of Your Minds: The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine

John Mark Hicks (Harding Graduate School of Religion)

Maurice Wiles, Reason to Believe

Mike Chambers (Florida Christian College)

Avery Dulles, The Splendors of Faith: The Theological Vision of Pope John Paul II

Robert C. Kurka (Lincoln Christian College)

Linda Belleville, Women Leaders and the Church: Three Crucial Questions

Tamsen Murray (Hope International University)

Mary Donovan Turner and Mary Lin Hudson, Saved from Silence: Finding Women's Voice in Preaching

Holly M. Kurka (Illinois State University)

Nils Harper, Urban Churches, Vital Signs: Beyond Charity toward Justice

Terry Allcorn (Saint Louis Christian College)

Lee June, ed., Evangelism and Discipleship in African-American Churches

Robert Woolfolk (Denver, CO)

Robert Banks, Reenvisioning Theological Education: Exploring a Missional Alternative to Current Models

Bill Weber (Cincinnati Bible Seminary)

Frederick C. Holmgren, The Old Testament & the Significance of Jesus: Embracing Change-Maintaining Christian Identity

Walter Zorn (Lincoln Christian College & Seminary)

Eugene Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origins of the Bible: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature

Loren Stuckenbruck (University of Durham, England)

Michael V. Fox, A Time to Tear Down and a Time to Build Up: A Rereading of Ecclesiastes

Dave Bland (Harding Graduate School of Religion)

Scott McKnight, A New Vision for Israel: The Teachings of Jesus in National Context

Barry Blackburn (Atlanta Christian College)

Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Larry Chouinard (Kentucky Christian College)

Rodney A. Whitacre, John

Brian Johnson (Lincoln Christian College)

Larry Kreitzer, Pauline Images in Fiction and Film: On Reversing the Hermeneutical Flow

John Castelein (Lincoln Christian Seminary)

Calvin Roetzel, Paul: The Man and the Myth

James Smith (Cincinnati Bible Seminary)

William Baker, 2 Corinthians

Philip Towner (United Bible Societies)

Gordon Fee, Philippians

Duane Warden (Harding University)

Colin G. Kruse, The Letters of John

Mark Berrier (Dallas Christian College) 
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Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



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