Tuesday, 29 July 2008

New OT Dictionary - and look who contributed


The new IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings edited by Tremper Longman and Peter Enns has just arrived. Lots of people will know this wonderful series which has produced four impressive volumes on the New Testament and now three on the Old Testament. As a I find this series a great help since it allows the non-specialist in Biblical Studies who wants to engage with careful well-informed evangelical biblical scholarship. This volume deals with Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Psalms, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther. As well as articles on each of those books there are almost 150 articles taking 1000 pages on the theology and themes of the books, the literary features of Hebrew poetry and Wisdom literature, the cultural bacgrlund and various interpretive approaches.

 There are four Australian contributors David Jackson, Paul Williamson, Martin Shields and our own John Davies. John has an article on 'theodicy' and one on 'folly'. I don't think there is a connection, though some people would say that all attempts at theodicy (defending God's righteousness) are folly (either they are doomed or needless!). 

On folly John tells us that it comes out first in speech, "Fools speak too soon and without listening … they say too much … they slander others … are quarrelsome, irascible, quick to take offense, or verbally aggressive". They may use proverbs, but in their mouths the proverb is 'disabled'. The fool is marked by a character, but behind the character is "a different orientation to knowledge … succumbing to the allure of this world's godless knowledge".

On theodicy he concludes that "rather than attempt to offer a rational explanation, to resolve the tensions by limiting God's power or denying his goodness, [the Biblical writers] seek to instill in their readers the fear of Yahweh. We may not understand God's ways but God knows what he is doing".

I'm looking forward to reading John's articles more fully and dipping into the rest of the volume.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Living Levitically

Christianity Today have a fascinating article by Daniel Harrell from Park Street Church in Boston (a famous evangelical church once pastored by Harold J. Ockenga). Harrell taught through Leviticus and challenged a group from his church to "live Levitically" for 30 days. Each person was to read Leviticus for themselves and then to decide how they would follow it. There was an explicit recognition that Leviticus does not apply to Christians in the way it did to Israel, but beyond that there was a range of ways of following Leviticus. 

Harrell describes the approaches. 
"Some people in the group ate kosher and wore linen trousers (in January no less). Just about everyone did a version of Sabbath keeping. Several men didn't shave. Another went as far as to build a tabernacle in her 600-square-foot apartment as a reminder of God's presence. One woman remarked how getting dressed each morning suddenly became a very slow and intentional process. "Fast girls aren't holy," she discovered.Other participants tried to figure out corresponding contemporary practices. For instance, if it is the case that a beard in the ancient Near East distinguished you from clean-shaven pagans, then I decided that maybe wearing a huge cross would approximate that in our day. Another person kept the food laws by only purchasing food locally farmed and humanely prepared. Several people, deciding that burnt offerings suggest a need to be aware of sin in a way that we typically aren't, wrote down their sins for the month, and then ceremonially burned them as a sign of God's forgiveness."

I am not sure what to make of this. On the one hand it sounds like an interesting educational exercise. It involves people in reading and reflecting on the Bible. The need to take action obviously pushed people to clarify what they thought and to be very concrete. However the range of hermeneutical approaches seems to undermine the exercise to some extent. Harrell says that it was important to do this in community. The result though was a classic postmodern situation, everyone doing their own thing together! It is not the same as a community which is consistently regulated by the Levitical law. I think I'd want to offer some guidelines to people for their thinking. 

That then points to the deeper problem. The month was an experiential learning exercise and month of some new spiritual disciplines, both of which are valuable but neither of which are the same as living under the law of God. For the law of God calls for consistent, life-long obedience. I'd defend the classic Reformed view of the three uses of the law (see Michael Horton's exposition of that here). So I'd say that Christian are called to obey the law understood in and through its fulfillment in Christ. (There are some explanations and nuances I'd put with that statement, but I'll leave those for another time). It is possible that living Levitically for a month may trivialise the serious Christian obligation to keep the law.

So while I was intrigued to read about the exercise, I'm not convinced about it. However I'd be interested to hear what others have got to say about it.

Scott McKnight has a brief summary of Living Levitically at Jesus Creed (followed by lots of comments).

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

New titles at PTC Library
















The book of Psalms : a translation with commentary
/ Robert Alter. New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2007. 9780393062267

This timeless poetry is beautifully wrought by a scholar whose translation of the Five Books of Moses was hailed as a “godsend” by Seamus Heaney and a “masterpiece” by Robert Fagles. Robert Alter's The Book of Psalms captures the simplicity, the physicality, and the coiled, rhythmic power of the Hebrew, restoring the remarkable eloquence of these ancient poems. His learned and insightful commentary shines a light on any obscurities of the text.


Genesis
/ James McKeown. Grand Rapids, MI : William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008. 9780802827050

The first Old Testament commentary in the new Eerdmans’ Two Horizons series, McKeown begins with exegesis of the Hebrew text, highlighting the recurrence of key words, phrases, and themes throughout the book. He also draws attention to passages particularly pertinent to earlier readers either facing or returning from exile, offering an historical context outside a solely Christian perspective.

The second half of the book unpacks the numerous theological horizons of Genesis — main unifying themes (descendants, blessing, land); key theological teachings of Genesis (creation, fall, character and image of God, life of faith); and the contribution of Genesis to theology today, including its impact on science, ecology, and feminist theology.

1 Samuel : looking for a leader / John Woodhouse, general editor R. Kent Hughes. Wheaton, IL : Crossway Books, 2008. 9781581348736

The latest volume in the Preaching the Word series, under the editorship of R. Kent Hughes, has the current principal of Moore College (and longtime Old Testament scholar) John Woodhouse working through 1 Samuel. He demonstrates that 1 Samuel's Biblical context provides serious reflection on our need for leadership, and the failure of human leaders. But it also reveals God's answer for Israel, which turns out to be his answer for the whole world and for each of us individually. This perceptive commentary not only illumines Old Testament history but points to the New Testament promise that was fulfilled in Jesus, our sovereign leader and Saviour.

Henry Bullinger (1504-1575) : shepherd of the Churches / George M. Ella. Eggleston, Durham : Go Publications, 2007. 9780954862435

The publisher claims this biography of Henry Bullinger is the first full-length study of his life and works ever to appear in the English language. Today Bullinger is almost unknown amongst English-speaking Christians, yet he was the best known theologian in Britain during the entire Reformation period. Dr George M. Ella is an historian and theologian who has written biographies on William Cowper, William Huntington, John Gill, James Hervey and Augustus Montague Toplady.

*Text taken from various on-line reviews*

Saturday, 12 July 2008

SBL in Auckland

After a week of listening to academic papers in Auckland at SBL, I thought it was time to blog again (being a bit of a novice at this high-tech means of communication).

The week in Auckland was very stimulating.  The papers that I particularly appreciated were in two areas: those that unpacked more on the background of the Graeco-Roman world of the NT (an area of growing interest for me), and those that examined literary theory and its impact on hermeneutical methodology.

When it comes to the NT world, the good papers shone light on how the social world of the recipients of NT letters shaped their understanding.  I heard great papers on the relationship between Cicero and 1 Corinthians 1-4, or Paul's caricature of his rivals in 2 Corinthians 11:20 as "parasites" within a patron/client relationship, of coins that helped to interpret the Bar Kokhba revolt.   But at other extreme, there was some papers that I would put in the realm of parallelomania or, as one participant said, belonging to the realm of Hans Christian Anderson. 

On the issue of literary theory, I was encouraged to look more at Speech Act Theory - and its relationship to sensus plenior and the dual authorship of Scripture - an excellent paper.  I was also entertained by a paper on Psalm 23 - read through different literary theory - whether feminist, deconstructionist, post-colonial etc.  The "entertainment" of this paper certainly helped confirm to me the bankruptcy and subjectivity of many such methodologies (although I am not sure that this was the presenter's intent).  

I came away from the conference with three impressions:
1.  Very few presenters thought about the communicative effect of their papers.  Although an academic paper is not entertainment, any presenter must always think about delivery as well as content.   It was good to be a student again and to be reminded that sitting through 7 or 8 hours of lectures in a day is quite an ordeal, and it is the teacher's task to be concerned both for content and for pedagogy.  Those presenters at SBL who put a fair bit of effort into the "packaging" of their delivery actually communicated.  It always astounds me that those who teach children and teenagers must have formal educational training, whereas this is not required for the teaching of adults.
2.  I was really pleased (is it OK to be "proud"?) to belong to a group of people from PTC who are concerned for serious scholarship.  John McClean's paper on Pannenberg was a real highlight - both for delivery (amazing 3 dimensional powerpoint) and for content.  Rachelle Gilmour's paper on suspense in 1 Samuel 9 was clear and well argued.  Peter Lau's paper on Boaz helped me understand much more about the levirate laws and Boaz' virtue.  I did not get to Maureen Miner's paper, but I heard great reports.  For a little college, we can be very pleased to be part of a developing community of scholars.
3.  There is an amazing (and alarming) breadth in the faith commitments (or lack thereof) among those who are involved in academic Biblical studies.  I was reminded again of how blessed we are in  Sydney (and other places too!), where there is an environment which values both faith commitments and academic rigour.  The need to defend the faith is just as real, if not more so, at the more academic end of the spectrum - and this will only be done well as we continue to take seriously the interpretation of text against its original setting.  There is much work to do in this area.

It's good to be back home to the warmth of a Sydney - but a great week of meeting people and being educated and challenged in Auckland.  It was a week well spent.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Why attend academic conferences?

"Why are five of the teaching staff of PTC spending a week drinking coffee in Auckland in between listening to other academics talk about all sorts of obscure topics?"  That is a good question and I'll give you my answer, though the others might have further reasons. In no particular order here are some reasons for attending a conference like SBL.

Presenting at a conference pushes you to explain and defend your work to a group who know the field well but may not be sympathetic with your own approach.

Listening to papers is a chance to hear what other people are doing in your own field and in other fields. I've enjoyed sitting in some of Biblical studies sections and being reminded of the questions and methods they deal with.

Meeting people is a chance to put faces to names and get an idea of who stands behind material you have read. More than that it is a chance to connect with people who might help you in all sorts of ways. For instance I've met a publishing rep. who will help us get access to books for review for Crucible and a few people I intend to stay in touch with to keep talking about theology.

It is good to be exposed to the worlds of academic biblical and theological studies and to realise that some people are doing careful faithful work and others are really operating from a secular assumptions and have little devotion to the Christ of scriptures. To some extent it strips any glamour from the 'academic' world, though also reveals some wonderful gems.

There are chances for valuable personal ministry. It has been great to talk to brothers and sisters who have encouraged me and helped me see further ways of serving the Lord as a teacher, it has also been great to have some conversations in which I hope I was the encourager.

This is not a world I'd like to live in all my life, but I'm glad a few of us have come for the week.

Another session calls so off I go!
 

Pannenberg paper

I am working on a PhD looking a Wolfhart Pannenberg (b.1928) the German theologian. Here is the summary of my paper on Pannenberg for ANZATS (associated with SBL). It is a bit dense I know, but I am too close to it at present to give a simpler summary. My supervisor, Dr Chris Mostert, was there and was encouraging. He noted one point that he disagreed with, and I've fixed that up in the summary below. I came up with an local Auckland illustration, and I had a three dimensional diagrams! They were the highlights for the audience I suspect.

In order to understand Pannenberg we need some idea of his whole project. I outlined that in 11 points.
1) Theology is a ‘science’ (or Wissenschaft).
2) Theology must be rational.
3) God is the object of theology.
4) Philosophically God is properly conceived of as the  Christian Trinitarian thought gives the only adequate account of the true infinite.
5) The theological concept of God takes up the philosophical and expands it.
6) Theological claims are hypotheses which find confirmation in the eschaton

7) The truth of any statement stands in relation to God.
8) “Every assertion has an anticipatory structure”.
9) The demise of metaphysics makes the affirmation of the truth of God untenable and the rise of atheism inevitable.
10) Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911) and Martin Heidegger (1889 – 1976) are the thinkers who proclaimed the demise of metaphysics.
11) A renewed metaphysical proposal must start with real life-worlds and historicity.

Pannenberg then presents a reconceptualised metaphysic. Dilthey and Heidegger argued that the temporality of understanding makes substantialist metaphysics impossible because there is no unified unchanging understanding of being. Pannenberg proposes to include this feature of change in a new ontology. Pannenberg suggests that things are what they become.

I call this proposal “temporalised essentialism”. It allows Pannenberg to incorporate the fact that truth claims and interpretations shift through time. Pannenberg’s proposal is a response to elements of postmodernity. He does not display any interest in fully developed postmodernism with its deconstruction and rejection of canonical descriptions and final vocabularies, and critique of the notion of the neutrality and sovereignty of reason. Yet in dealing Dilthey and Heidegger on questions of temporality he interacts with thinkers and themes which lie at the roots of postmodernity. This proposal makes use of explicitly theological material, drawing on Christian eschatology and resurrection hope in the light of the resurrection of Christ. Pannenberg’s metaphysical proposal stands in a reciprocal relationship with a theological proposal. “Temporalised essentialism” allows the theological to be recognised as conceivable, while it is only in the theological that the metaphysical finds its validation. Ultimately such validation is eschatological, since it is only when the Triune God is revealed as the reality which determines all reality that the truth of either claim can be established.

This metaphysics is the background for Pannenberg's reformulation of the doctrine of God. He responde to three concerns: i) the need to relate to modern relational categories rather than classical concepts; ii) the need to resolve problems in the traditional doctrine of God; and iii) the need to ground the doctrine of God in revelation. His most basic concern, on his own presentation, is the need to ground the doctrine of God in revelation, particularly the historical revelation of Jesus and the relationships discovered there.

Pannenberg expounds revelation in Christ in terms of the “mutual self-distinction” of Father, Son and Spirit. He argues that all “active relations” have a place in the “richly structured nexus of relationship” of Trinitarian life. Pannenberg treats these relations as truly mutual, so that the Father-Son relation is constitutive for the Father as well the Son. Pannenberg comes to a doctrine of the Trinity in which the deity, distinctive identity and unity of each of the persons is constituted in and through the others in the economy. Pannenberg’s position is that that God’s deity, unity and lordship can not be confessed unless they are thought of eschatologically. It is at this point that the importance of ‘anticipation’ can be seen. For it is only because things are in the present what they will be in the end that we can affirm that the one ruling Lord is already present.


Pannenberg’s exposition of the Trinity has two inseparable aspects: ‘mutual self-distinction’ (i.e. inner Trinitarian relations or what is often identified as the immanent Trinity) and ‘salvation history’ (i.e. the economic Trinity). In Pannenberg’s thought these two aspects must be maintained and related.

Pannenberg’s theological and metaphysical proposals involve a reconceptualisation of the relation of time and eternity. He argues that eternity must be understood as the simultaneity of all time, an eternity which lies in the future of temporal experience.
How can this proposal be assessed? I’d suggest these are important questions
a) Does Pannenberg’s view of anticipation concord with the New Testament presentation of the ‘now-not yet’ tension?
b) Does Pannenberg’s doctrine of God result in distancing God from history?
c) Does Pannenberg’s move to understand the relations of the Trinity as not simply relations of ‘origin’ constitute a theological advance beyond of the Nicene tradition?
d) Is it valid to assert that there is no conceptual distinction between God’s essence and persons?
e) Does Pannenberg’s claim that all history is anticipatory of redemption means that he must relativise wrath and judgement?

Whatever conclusion we come to on those questions Pannenberg’s project offers important insights for Christian talk about God in the face of the fragmentation of postmodernity. In the ongoing debate about the place of metaphysics in Christian theology Pannenberg insists that Christian talk about God can not abandon metaphysics. His approach suggests that a response to postmodernity can not simply rest on classical metaphysics. He shows us that in eschatology we find resources for rethinking our view of God and time and eternity.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Evangelism in Auburn NSW

While my colleagues are in Kiwiland, I took a trip there myself at the local cinema last night. Prince Caspian is a wonderful tale (did you know filming started in Auckland in 2007), and I enjoyed it all in the comfort of my local cinema in Auburn NSW. It was interesting savouring the Golden Lion and his disciples in a strongly Muslim context.
The film was warmly appreciated by the audience who applauded at the end (the first time I have heard that for years) but I wonder how many there had a clue about the allegorical/Christian meaning.
Lewis claimed that his tale was about "the restoration of true religion after a corruption". But in a multi-faith context the average reader/viewer might question Lewis' vision as to which religion is the true one any way. To put it another way, I sense the Narnian genre of evangelism loses traction where there is no common memory of true faith. Sadly (for this artform's impact) that world is not our world anymore.
Our gospelling needs to be a tad more explicit - but hey Caspian and co. still warmed my Christian heart.
Thanks Pussycat, Prince and Pevensies!

SBL Wednesday

We've reached Wednesday evening in Auckland. This morning saw two papers by people with PTC connections. Peter Lau who started a PhD with us before moving the the slightly larger and more prestigious University of Sydney presented on the presentation of Boaz in Ruth and Rochelle Gilmour, who is teaching Hebrew this year, looked at the rhetorical strategy in 1 Samuel 9 in which Saul seems to take so long to actually meet Samuel. She showed the devices used to raise tension and that it is quite possible to make sense of the final form of the text without resorting to textual history explanations. It stretched my Hebrew but was very enjoyable.

At least one person was interested in Peter Lockwood's paper, and I liked it, so here is a little more on"Genocidal warfare in the book of Joshua: Does the implied author have qualms of conscience?" Peter argued that the book is written to encourage Israel to courageous Torah-keeping in the 6th and 7th centuries and so is not aimed at calling the reader to enter holy war. Israel are presented has having a legal right to the land as an inheritance (1:3, 6,11; 11:23; 21:43-45) and the conquest is a kind of Jubilee in which all land reverts to its proper owner (Josh 6 uses the term yovel, the word for jubilee and rams horn stressing the parallel between the feast of Jubilee and the conquest). Israel’s right to the land is not based on their greatness but on the Lord’s promise (Dt 7:7; 8:7-18; 9:4). He also pointed to various factors which make the Joshua conquest less ethically troubling. For example the contrast between Rahab and Achan undermines any claims that Yahweh is a national god who will always fight for Israel. This is reinforced by Joshua’s encounter with the commander of the Lord’s armies in Joshua 5 where Joshua asks “Are you for us or for our enemies?” and the answer is “No” and then “but I have now come as commander of the army of the LORD”. Peter also pointed to the presentation of the sin of the Canaanites in the Deuteronomic history and the presentation of the Canaanites as the aggressors and that Israel’s first widespread military action was to assist the Gibeonites. The Canaanites are presented as corrupt and corrupting (Jsh 23:7-16; 24:19-20) This all presents the conquest in a different light to the way it may be seen in a superficial reading, though I was not convinced that it shows the narrator was troubled by the conquest.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

SBL in Auckland - Tuesday lunch

Several of us are at SBL International conference in Auckland this week. If has been good fun so far. There are heaps of Aussies here (the majority of delegates I'd guess) and lots of people various ones of us know from different places. Like all conferences of this sort some papers are better and more stimulating than others.

My favourites so far have been a paper by Mervyn Duffy on the place of language in Eden, and one by Peter Lockwood from the Lutheran College in Adelaide arguing that the narrator of Judges in sensitive to some of the ethical problems of the conquest and builds a case to "qualify, modify and justify" the violence of his account. Mervyn's paper was stimulated by a claim by the modern Catholic theologian Chauvet that Augustine and Aquinas suggest that there is no place for language in the garden of Eden. Chauvet sees this as an example the classical metaphysics (or onto-theology) of the tradition and he opposes this with a view which see reality as constituted by language all the way down. Mervyn was arguing that the tradition has a stronger place for language than Chauvet allows. He pointed to some material in both Augustine and Aquinas which go some way to demonstrating this, though I was not convinced that their Neoplatonism does not have more of an effect on their views. 

I'll try to mention a few other papers later today, but now I am off to do my own paper on Pannenberg.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

PCNSW Assembly 2008


In the previous post I explained that several of us were at PCNSW Assembly for the week. I had thought I might post a few times during the week, however things got too busy and the only time I had a chance to write anything I would have had to sit in the outside in the cold at night to get a decent connection. So here are a few comments and reflections which are, of course, my own and not the official view of the PTC nor of the PCNSW!

This was the second residential assembly, the first was in 2004. Again we were at 'the tops' sight at Stanwell Tops. It is set in wonderful scenery, though you have to walk about 10 minutes to get a view like the picture. I don't think many of us had much time to enjoy the scenery as the business of the assembly took up more time than was originally planned. The residential Assembly is a good time to get to know people better. There is certainly a discipline in living together for a week, but I think it is a discipline which is good for us and I was glad that we finished by deciding to hold another residential Assembly in 2011.

Bruce Meller did a fine job as moderator. His opening address can be heard here. Given that Bruce only discovered a few minutes before the opening that there was no sermon and he adapted his brief address to a sermon, it is a good effort.

Much of the 'routine' business had been dealt with earlier in the year, and this meant that the Assembly was quite intense, since most of the debates had some significance.

The major issue was to be a consideration of a overture which was approved at the last General Assembly of Australia which would mean that only men could be ordained as elders. In order for this to become the case the overture must now be approved by a three fifths majority of Presbyteries and a majority of State Assemblies. Feelings are very high in the NSW church over this issue and the house was packed on Tuesday morning in anticipation of the debate. However the decision was made that the debate would be delayed for a year. The main reason given was that the Assembly should receive some legal advice on the implications of the possible decision. However I suspect that many voted to delay because it would have made the rest of the week living together far less happy. One commissioner commented to me that he thought the Assembly would be happy to postpone the debate indefinitely. I think he may be right, but we won't be able to do the same thing next year.

There is still some angst in the Assembly about the health of our churches, the need for a clear strategy, the need for recruiting more ministers and the level of financial support for the various programs of the Assembly and how that money is shared. This year that concern came out in some strong questions asked about the Ministry and Mission Committee and its recruiting role, and attempts to remove the Church and Nation Committee (unsuccessfully) and the Historical Records Committee (which is now a subcommittee of the Business Committee). There was a major debate about the possibility of introducing a compulsory assessment to fund the programs of PCNSW. The suggestion was defeated.

The Theological Education Committee report is of great interest to us at PTC (since TEC is our governing body). There was no TEC business to deal with (since that had been done in April) so we gave a presentation with a brief interview with a student, and an interview with a student who had done the WCF intensive and with me about the intensives. Ian introduced the Philosophy of Education we have been working on and talked about our hope of getting some residences near PTC. Robert Benn (the convenor of TEC) spoke briefly about other building matters and I introduced the Ministry Training for Women (more on the blog in the future). The chat around the Assembly was that the presentation had gone well and people were excited about what we were doing.

So there are a few highlights. Others who were at Assembly may want to comment on other debates.




Why John D has been the only blogger

You may have noticed that only one of us has contributed to the blog in the last few weeks and have wondered why. Even if you have not wondered let me tell you. We've had a busy end to the semester with a fairly frantic dash to get all the marking finished. John D has had that as well, but has persevered with the blog. The last week has been the NSW Presbyterian Church annual assembly, which occupied most of us. John however has started study leave and Ian is acting principal, so John got on with his projects and the rest of us spent a week at Assembly.

As John explained some us of are heading to Auckland next week for SBL, and I'll try to write some posts from there.

Friday, 4 July 2008

The Great Australian Invasion of New Zealand

It’s time once more for the international conference of the Society of Biblical Literature and this year it’s just across the ditch, so Aussies will be represented in force. Five of the PTC staff will be attending (three giving papers), as well as PTC graduates.

As usual, I’m wanting to attend three or four sessions at the same time, pulled between contributing to the discussion in areas I’m most at home in, and eavesdropping on discussions of topics I want to stretch myself in. One I’m looking forward to is David Clines on Psalm 23 – a psalm most loved and (IMHO) not too well understood.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Latest Tyndale Bulletin

The latest TB arrived yesterday and I’ve started dipping into it (doesn’t that glossy paper smell wonderful?).
John Goldingay does what he does best – getting us to think carefully about the big picture questions of the OT and its relation to the NT. He argues that it is the canonical shape of the OT as a whole, including the non-narrative bits, that ought to inform our OT theology. So it is not history (à la biblical theology movement) which determines theology. While he does argue that there is a canon within the canon, by which he means that some texts (e.g. those dealing with the regulation of divorce) are secondary (e.g. to those dealing with the marriage ideal), Goldingay wants us to hear the voice of the OT in its own terms, not ignoring any portion of the OT because it doesn’t seem to square with the NT, or with our modern sensitivities. We do read the OT in the light of the gospel, but not in such a way as to subsume the OT under the New. There is no wrath–love or works–faith contrast operating between the Testaments. While provocative at one level, I loved this comment on the extent of the OT canon: “We do have to choose between the Hebrew-Aramaic list of books and the Greek one [i.e. including the Apocrypha], and I choose the Hebrew-Aramaic one, though I do not think it makes a whole lot of difference except ... for increasing the amount of the Old Testament we ignore.”

Christopher Seitz offers a response, though concentrates on things which I felt were on the margins of Goldingay’s concerns (e.g. the question of a canonical order of the books).

Other articles in this issue, waiting to be read, are:
‘I hate them with perfect hatred (Psalm 132:21-22) – Eric Peels
Aberrant Textuality? The case of Ezekiel the (Porno) Prophet – Andrew Sloane
Conceptualising Fulfilment in Matthew – Daniel Kirk
Expulsion from the Synagogue? Rethinking a Johannine Anachronism – Edward Klink
The Deliverer from Zion: The Sources and Function of Paul’s Citation in Romans 11:26-27
- Christopher Bruno
John or Paul? Who Was Polycarp’s Mentor? – Kenneth Berding
The Measure of Stewardship: Pistis in Romans 12:3 – John Poirier