Last year I had the great honor of being on a panel discussion at the Lanier Theological Library with some leading scholars. The topic was “Figural Reading . . . the Old in the New.” Richard Hays had written an important book on the topic entitled, Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (Baylor University Press, 2014). That was the topic of our discussion. It is an outstanding conversation hosted by Mark Lanier.
Richard Hays (Dean, Duke Divinity School)
Lynn Cohick (Professor, Wheaton College)
Carey Newman (Director, Baylor University Press)
David Capes (Professor, Houston Baptist University)
Mark Lanier (Moderator)
Here is a link to the site:
The discussion takes place over 1 hr and 43 minutes. If you’re interested in how NT writers read, interpreted and used their Bible–what we call the Old Testament but specifically the Greek version of the Old Testament–this will be a good video to watch.
I’m humbled and gratified to be a part of these conversations.
On my summer reading list is a new book by Darrell Bock and Benjamin Simpson, both faculty members at Dallas Theological Seminary. The title of the book is Jesus the God-Man: The Unity and Diversity of the Gospel Portrayals (Baker Academic, 2016). Bock and Simpson treat the Gospels as reliable sources for the life of Jesus, and they do give us a coherent, new reading of these diverse texts. They are not just concerned with the Christ of faith but the Jesus of history, to use the traditional terms.
It is typically understood that the Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—provide us with the story of the human Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Anointed; the story of the Christ from above, that is the incarnate Word, is the subject of John’s Gospel. Not so fast . . . Bock and Simpson say. The portrayals in the Synoptics and John are far more interesting and complex.
At the end of the day, Bock and Simpson demonstrate that the Gospels give us different stories, different portrayals; but in their analysis their accounts are complementary not contradictory. The Divine Christ is not absent from the Synoptics. The earthly Jesus is not alien to the Fourth Gospel.
My friend and colleague Larry Hurtado (University of Edinburgh) has written a brilliant and important book entitled How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus (Eerdmans, 2005). It is a more popular version of perhaps his most well known book, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Eerdmans, 2005).
For those who want a 10 minute distilled version of his thesis, take a look at the video here. It is the best summary I know of his big idea!
I had the privilege on May 6, 2016 of moderating a panel discussion at the Lanier Theological Library. Mark Lanier, owner and namesake of the library, was out in California and made a surprise appearance at the end. I guess the winds were in his favor.
The topics were diverse: The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife and the notion of substitutionary atonement in Paul. Those two topics were related only in that our special guest, Simon Gathercole, had written on them recently. We rounded up some usual and unusual suspects for the afternoon’s discussion. Here are the key contributors:
David Capes (Moderator – Dean, Professor of New Testament, Houston Graduate School of Theology, Houston, TX)
Graham Cole (Dean, Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL)
Craig Evans (Dean, School of Christian Thought, John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins, Houston Baptist University, Houston, TX)
Simon Gathercole (New Testament Scholar/Teacher, University of Cambridge, England)
David Moessner (Professor, A. A. Bradford Chair of Religion, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX)
The video lasts for 90 minutes but contains a lot of great information on topics related to the New Testament. I’m grateful to Charles Mickey and Brent Johnson for their help that day. Mark Lanier took a big chance getting a non-lawyer to moderate, but I hope he wasn’t too disappointed. I thought it was a good discussion.
Here is a link to the discussion: