Monthly Archives: August 2016

Master Greek by Paul Hoskins

Paul Hoskins, Associate Professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, has provided a helpful tool for students of New Testament Greek. Master Greek is a website devoted to helping students with their parsing.

It is interesting that many first year Greek grammars do not stress parsing in their homework exercises. They just ask the student to translate Greek sentences into English. Sooner or later, diligent Greek students figure out that they cannot produce an accurate translation without knowing how to parse the Greek words.

Now, without practice, your parsing skills get rusty and perhaps you grow to rely on Bible software to do all of your parsing. This is really unfortunate, because you become tethered to your Bible software and cannot really read the Greek text with any level of fluency. Many possible insights from the Greek text will become lost to your view this way.

This really is a helpful website for testing your parsing ability, but the best part is how easy it is to navigate. Hoskins wrote a helpful abstract on how to use Master Greek. Continue reading

Book Review: A Theology of Matthew

A-Theology-of-MatthewQuarles, Charles L. A Theology of Matthew: Jesus Revealed as Deliverer, King, and Incarnate Creator. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2013. 240 pp. $14.48

The Explorations in Biblical Theology series is written “for college seniors, seminarians, pastors, and thoughtful lay readers” (ix) who do not have a robust knowledge of Greek, Hebrew, or advanced theological training. Charles L. Quarles’ contribution to the series maintains this desire. A Theology of Matthew: Jesus Revealed as Deliverer, King, and Incarnate Creator brings a refreshing and accessible look at the Gospel of Matthew. As the title suggests, this is accomplished by addressing three significant theological claims that Matthew makes concerning Jesus.

Summary

After a brief look at Matthean authorship (5–9) and interpretative measures for understanding Matthew’s message (21–30), Quarles begins his discussion on Matthew’s presentation of Jesus as the New Moses. There is a plethora of comparison between the two, from similar infancy narratives (35–37) to their transfigurations (42–43), and the comparisons are too similar to overlook. Indeed, Quarles argues that for Matthew’s original readers, Moses was not simply a lawgiver but rather a “savior, a redeemer, and a deliverer” (47). This is primarily viewed through the inauguration of the new covenant (51–60, esp 53–54), which finds its fulfillment in Christ through his language in the Lord’s Supper and ultimately his death upon the cross. Continue reading

On Politics and the Kingdom of God

Presidential-sealThe political atmosphere in America has been in full swing for over a year now with the potential presidential candidates making a sprint through the primaries with the hope of obtaining the coveted title of “Nominee.” Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two primary candidates in this race and, despite the numerous third party candidates, one of the two will find their place behind the Resolute Desk come January 20.

I was reminded, yet again, how our political ideologies can become our political idols today as I clicked on a news link “guaranteed” to anger me. I watched as the video portrayed the failure of the Bush administration to uncover any WMD’s in their invasion of Iran and the apparent lying made by many in high level positions.

Now there are many possible reasons why the “lying” occurred, and I am in no way defending those in error. It could simply have been a misstatement or a general forgetfulness made by the respondent, or it could have well been lying. The fact that the video shows many months, if not years, between the initial statement could suggest the former, but the human temptation to cover our mistake rather than correcting can also suggest the latter.

Yet it only took me a few scrolls through my Facebook feed to find, you guessed it, an article of the Obama administration/Clinton campaign/Trump campaign caught lying over an extended period of time. Continue reading

To the New Seminary Student

Dear New Seminary Student,

Welcome to the world of biblical scholarship. I believe you are in for an exciting journey in your life where you will be stretched to read, write, argue, and think on perhaps a new level. If you will, allow me to encourage you on how to view your time in seminary. I have also written about what I learned from my time earning an M.Div, and you can find that article here.

First, enjoy the time you spend at school. There were students I had classes with who would lament and bemoan the fact they are in seminary because they were “ready to do ministry.” What they missed is the fact that they are doing ministry as they sit in the class. Not only does seminary serve as a time of preparation for your life in ministry, it is also a ministry in itself. We are learning, studying, reading, and praying. We are giving ourselves to the ministry of learning. To separate vocational ministry from academic ministry is something I would encourage you to avoid. Even when you are on your third research paper of the semester, enjoy the process because it will be over quickly.

Continue reading