Friday, December 29, 2006

Ancient Magic and Ephesians

Here is an interesting text from 1 Enoch that helps reveal the attitude towards magical rites in the ancient world:

"And they will worship stones, and others will make graven images of gold and silver and wood and clay, and others willl worship impure spirits and demons and all kinds of superstitions not according to knowledge, notwithstanding no manner of help will be found in them" (1 Enoch 99:7)

The final phrase of this sentence seems to convey one of primary motives behind this idolatorous and demonic worship - acquiring help in various aspects of life. What does all this have to do with Ephesians? Well, in a very important monograph (Ephesians: Power and Magic), Clinton Arnold argues that one of the primary reasons Paul wrote Ephesians was to encourage Christians living in a culture consumed my magical practices and the supernatural (cf. Acts 19). Arnold suggests that Paul highlights Christ's supremacy over cosmic evil (cf. 1:20-22) in this letter in order to remind Christians in Asia Minor that they need not engage in magical rites as a means of placating demonic forces. Christ's defeat of the "powers" is a major theme in this letter and given the central role of the Artemis cult in the religious climate of Ephesus, a connection between the writing of this letter and pagan magic seems quite plausible. This suggestion would also account for the general tone of the letter. Still, I can't help but think that Paul's "sights" are ultimately set on broader (but closely related) concerns.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brief Reflections on ETS

Since I left DC about a week and a half ago, it's probably a good idea for me to put a few thoughts together before I completely forget about my experience at ETS. First, it was truly wonderful to get to spend time with friends and meet new people. Coming from a first-class introvert who would rather spend time reading than talking, this is no paltry statement. It has been over a year since I finished the coursework for my ThM and since then I have largely been out of an academic environment. While this has allowed me to get back into the "real world" (whatever that means!), I have missed the opportunity to be around fellow nerds. Much of my time was spent with Alan Bandy (check out his blog here) since we stayed with his in-laws in Maryland and it was great to catch up with him and engage on a number of issues. He certainly is a gentleman and a scholar! I also got the opportunity to meet several bloggers, including Michael Bird, Michael Pahl, Joel Willitts, James Hamilton, and Bryan Lee.
As far as papers go, there were unfortunately a few disappointments. Much of that had nothing to do with the papers themselves and more to do with certain expectations/hopes I had formed in my mind. In truth, I think this is a somewhat natural phenomena as on so much is revealed by a paper title. Nonetheless, I was able to attend several interesting papers, which I will probably comment on at a later date. Unfortunately, there were also several papers that I hoped to hear but was unable to for various reasons. Part of the problem was that Alan and I averaged about five hours sleep a night! That's okay the first couple of days, but once Friday came around, I was not too keen on doing "the paper thing."
As far as books go, they simply didn't! While there were a ton of books that I wanted, I was determined to stick to essentials for future research. I am already going to be in a bind when it comes to deciding which books to take with us if we get to spend a few years studying in Scotland. I can already see myself suffering from separation anxiety as I part with the majority of my library and there is simply no need to make that a more trying time by buying an extensive amount of books. I was really hoping to find more stuff on Ephesians, but there unfortunately was nothing really there (maybe there was more at SBL). This may reflect the lack of academic interest in that amazing epistle, which I suppose is to my advantage. Nonetheless, I did pick up the following volumes, most of which should be really helpful for my future research:

1 Enoch, R. Charles
Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul's Letters, C. Arnold
Ancient Texts for New Testament Studies, C. Evans
The Theology of Paul the Apostle, J. Dunn
Apostle Paul: His Life and Theology, U. Schnelle
An Introduction to Early Judaism, J. Vanderkam

Friday, November 10, 2006

Interesting ETS Papers

I do apologize (again) for the absence. Things have been crazy as my wife and I sell our house. I've also taken a break from my work on Ephesians and have tried to focus attention on a few other areas of interest (primarily the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1 Enoch, and discourse analysis). Anyway, I'll try to get back to Ephesians again soon.

Here are a few ETS papers that look particularly interesting to me:

1) "Powers, Personification and the Paradox of Evil in Wisdom and Romans" (J. Dodson)
2) "Isaiah's Leviathan in His Near Eastern Context" (W. Barker)
3) "The Church Militant and Her Warfare: We are not another Interest Group" (J. Hamilton)
4) "Paul, Artemis, and Idolatry in Ephesians" (C. Arnold)
5) "'As it was in the Days of Noah': Flood Typology, the Use of the Old Testament and Eschatological Expectation in 1 Enoch and the New Testament" (D. Street)
6)"The Polemical Nature of the Danielic Mystery and Paul's Use of It in 1 Cor 1-2" (B. Gladd)
7) "Transforming the Body: Salvation as Restoration to the Proper Use of the Body in Romans" (T. Gombis)
8) "The Church as 'One New Man': Ecclesiology and Anthropology in Ephesians" (S. Aaron Son)
9) "The Use (or Abuse) of Power in High Places: Paul's Account of Gift-Giving in Eph 4:8 and Psa 68" (W. Wilder)
10) "Benefaction, Body Building, and Battle: A Political Theory for the Church in Paul's Letter to the Ephesians" (F. Long)
11) "Meeting the New Perspective Half-Way: Jew Gentile Relationships and Justification by Faith in Paul" (M. Bird)

I'm really pleased to see a number of papers on Ephesians. I'm also excited about the papers on Romans, as they could line up really well with my future research on Ephesians (btw, some see numerous parallels between Romans and Ephesians). Hopefully some of these papers will also provide for some interesting discussion on this blog.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Structure of Ephesians 2:1-10 (Part 2)

Here's my preliminary analysis of Ephesians 2:1-10. Again, see my post on 8/16/06 for an explanation of the notation used in this analysis. Enjoy!

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins → INTRO (1a)
in which you once walked → ELABORATION 1a (2a)
following the course of this world → MANNER 2a (2b)
following the prince of the power of the air → MANNER 2a (2c)
the spirit that is now at work → ELABORATION 2c (2d)
in the sons of disobedience → SPHERE 2d (2e)
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh → ELABORATION 2e (3a)
carrying out the desires of the body and the mind → MANNER 3a (3b)
and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind → ELABORATION 2e (3c)
But God, being rich in mercy → ORIENTER 1a–3c (4a)
because of the great love with which he loved us → REASON 5b, 6a, 6b (4b)
even when we were dead in our trespasses → CONCESSIVE 4b (5a)
made us alive together with Christ → MAIN IDEA (5b)
by grace you have been saved → PARENTHETICAL STATEMENT 5b (5c)
and raised us up with him → MAIN IDEA (6a)
and seated us with him → MAIN IDEA (6b)
in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus → SPHERE 5b, 6a, 6b (6c)
so that in the coming ages he might show → PURPOSE 5b, 6abc (7a)
the immeasurable riches of his grace → CONTENT 7a (7b)
in kindness → MANNER 7b (7c)
toward us in Christ Jesus → SPHERE 7c (7d)
For by grace you have been saved through faith → ELABORATION 4a–7d (8a)
And this is not your own doing → ELABORATION 8a (8b)
it is the gift of God → ELABORATION 8b (8c)
not a result of works → ELABORATION 8c (9a)
so that no one may boast → REASON 8bcd (9b)
For we are his workmanship → GROUNDS 8–9 (10a)
created in Christ Jesus for good works → PURPOSE 10a (10b)
which God prepared beforehand → ELABORATION 10b (10c)
that we should walk in them → PURPOSE 10c (10d)

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Structure of Ephesians 2:1-10 (Part 1)

Ephesians 2:1-4 = a description of the believer's sinful past
v.1-2a = formerly characterized by a sinful life-style
v. 2b-3 = formerly influenced by evil cosmic forces and our sinful nature
Ephesians 2:5-10 = a description of the Divine initiative that remedied our sinful state
v. 4-5a = the basis of the Divine initiative
v. 5b-7 = the effects of the Divine initiative (a three-fold description of our "union with Christ")
v. 8-10 = a summary of the Gospel that achieves our "union with Christ"
v. 8-9 = how God effects our salvation
v. 10 = the purpose of our salvation

A more detailed analysis to come!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Francis Watson on Romans 1:17 & Habakkuk 2:4

About a month ago, I began working through (something of an understatement!) F. Watson's Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith. Thus far, I've thoroughly enjoyed it. While I've benefited greatly from pretty much everything I've read thus far, Watson's treatment of Habakkuk 2:4 and its relationship to Paul's citation of this text in Romans 1:17 has been particularly interesting.

Here are some of Watson's primary conclusions:

"Whether they think in terms of 'faithfulness' or of 'faith', the prophet and the apostle are at one in their assumption that emunah or pistis refers to the human response to the divine promise of definitive, eschatological saving action. The apostle's message is "gospel", in which human speech is the bearer of "the power of God unto salvation" to those in whom it evokes the response of faith (cf. Rom.1.16). The prophet likewise seeks to evoke a response in which the entire life of his reader is reoriented towards the future divine saving action of which he writes. His book begins with a despairing question about salvation: "YHWH, how long . . . shall I cry to you, 'Violence!', and you will not save?" (Hab.1.3) . . . From beginning to end, the book of Habakkuk is concerned with salvation . . . And it is concerned only with salvation . . . It is not concerned, for example, to address the problem of unrighteous conduct among the covenant people.
When Paul cites his proof-text in the form, "The one who is righteous by faith shall live", he shares with his scriptural source the conviction that all human life is to be lived in the light of God's final, comprehensive act of salvation. For Paul, the prophetic "by faith" entails the corollary, "not by works of law"; that, and not an explicit christological refernce, is the point he seeks to establish on the basis of Habakkuk 2.4, in order to bear witness to the radical priority of divine saving action even over the human action enjoined in the law itself (162-63)."

A chapter truly worth a careful read!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Detailed Structure of Ephesians 1:15-23

Here's my stab at a detailed analysis of Ephesians 1:15-23. For an explanation of the notation used here, see my post dated 8/16/2006.

For this reason → ORIENTER 1:3–14 (1:15a)
because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus → REASON 1:15a (1:15b)
and because I have heard of your love toward all the saints → REASON 1:15a (1:15c)
I do not cease to give thanks for you → RESULT 1:15bc (1:16a)
when remembering you in my prayers → TEMPORAL QUALIFIER 1:16a (1:16b)
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ → CONTENT 1:16b (1:17a)
the Father of glory → ELABORATION 1:17a (1:17b)
may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation → CONTENT 1:16b (1:17c)
in the knowledge of him → SPHERE 1:17c (1:17d)
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened → RESULT 1:17cd (1:18a)
that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you → PURPOSE/RESULT 1:17cd (1:18b)
what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints → PURPOSE/RESULT 1:17cd (1:18c)
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe → PURPOSE/RESULT 1:17cd (1:19a)
according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ → ASSOCIATION 1:19a (1:19b)
when he raised him from the dead → TEMPORAL QUALIFIER 1:19b (1:20a)
and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places → TEMPORAL QUALIFIER 1:19b (1:20b)
far above all rule and authority and power and dominion → ELABORATION/RESULT 1:19–20 (1:21a)
and above every name that is named → SUMMARY 1:20b–1:21a (1:21b)
not only in this age but also in the one to come → TEMPORAL QUALIFIER 1:21ab (1:21c)
And he put all things under his feet → SUMMARY 1:19b–1:21c (1:22a)
and gave him as head over all things to the church → SUMMARY 1:19b–1:21c (1:22b)
which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all → ELABORATION 1:22b (1:23)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Structure of Ephesians 1:15-23

The following is a broad analysis of the structure of Ephesians 1:15-23:

Eph 1:15-23 = A Prayer of thanksgiving, intercession, and praise
Eph 1:15 = Reasons for Paul's prayer
Eph 1:16 = Paul's response
Eph 1:17-23 = Content of Paul's prayer (growth in maturity & understanding of Christ's work)
v. 17-18a = Request for strengthening by the Spirit (growth in practical wisdom & understanding)
v. 18b-19a = Description of the resulting revelatory work of the Spirit
v. 19b-23 = Elaboration of God's power (cf. 1:19a)
v. 21-23 = Elaboration of Christ's supremacy over good and evil
v. 23 = Summary statement describing Christ's supremacy

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Detailed Diagram of Ephesians 1:3-14

Here is a more detailed diagram of Ephesians 1:3-14. In general, my aim is to show how the various statements in this passage are related to one another. The translation I will be using in these diagrams is the ESV. Let me also explain how to "read" these diagrams. Next to each phrase is a semantic category that describes how a given phrase functions in the passage (eg. "grounds," "means" etc.). Following the semantic category is a number and letter that identifies which phrase in the passage the phrase in question is linked to. Following this is another number and letter in brackets that identifies the particular phrase in view.
For example, Eph 1:5 consists of two primary phrases (at least in my analysis). These are:
i) In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, → SUPPORT 1:3b (1:5a); ii)according to the purpose of his will, → REASON 1:5a (1:5b).
The word "SUPPORT" here would indicate that this phrase functions as "supporting evidence" for one of Paul's assertions. The number/letter combination "1:3b" indicates that this phrase is providing "supporting evidence" for the phrase identified in the diagram as 1:3b. The numer/letter combination in brackets identifies this particular phrase as (1:5a). This would indicate that this phrase is found in Eph 1:5 and is the first phrase in this verse.
I do hope that this notation system isn't as difficult to interpret as some of Paul's statements in this passage:-) Finally, blogspot unfortunately prevents me from showing how the phrases are subordinated to one another.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, → INTRO (1:3a)
who has blessed us in Christ → MAIN IDEA/ELABORATION/REASON 1:3a (1:3b)
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places → CONTENT 1:3b (1:3c)
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, → SUPPORT 1:3b (1:4a)
that we should be holy and blameless before him. → PURPOSE 1:4a 1:(4b)
5 In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, → SUPPORT 1:3b (1:5a)
according to the purpose of his will, → REASON 1:5a (1:5b)
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, → PURPOSE 1:5a (1:6a)
with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. → ELABORATION 1:6a (1:6b)
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, → SUPPORT 1:3b (1:7a)
the forgiveness of our trespasses, → ELABORATION 1:7a (1:7b)
according to the riches of his grace, → GROUNDS 1:7ab (1:7c)
8 which he lavished upon us, → ELABORATION 1:7c (1:8a)
in all wisdom and insight → ELABORATION 1:8a (1:8b)
9 making known1 to us the mystery of his will, → MEANS 1:8a (1:9a)
according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ → GROUNDS 1:9a (1:9b)
10as a plan for the fullness of time → PURPOSE 1:9b (1:10a)
to unite all things in him, → EXPLANATION 1:9a/1:10a (1:10b)
things in heaven → CONTENT 1:10b (1:10c)
and things on earth. → CONTENT 1:10b (1:10d)
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, → SUPPORT 1:3b (1:11a)
having been predestined → MEANS 1:11a (1:11b)
according to the purpose of him → REASON 1:11b (1:11c)
who works all things according to the counsel of his will → ELABORATION 1:11c (1:11d)
12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ → ELABORATION 1:11a (1:12a)
might be to the praise of his glory. → PURPOSE 1:11a (1:12b)
13 In him you also, → INTRO CLAUSE (1:13a)
when you heard the word of truth → TEMPORAL CLARIFICATION 1:13e (1:13b)
the gospel of your salvation → CONTENT 1:13b (1:13c)
and believed in him, → TEMPORAL CLARIFICATION 1:13e (113d)
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit → SUPPORT 1:3b (1:13e)
14 who is the guarantee1 of our inheritance → ELABORATION 1:13e (1:14a)
until we acquire possession of it,2 → TEMPORAL CLARIFICATION 1:14a (1:14b)
to the praise of his glory → PURPOSE/RESULT 1:13e/1:14a (1:14c)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The structure of Ephesians 1:3-14

First of all, as anyone who has seriously studied this passage knows, it is very difficult to determine how the various thoughts in this lengthy sentence are connected. The following thus merely represents a tentative analysis of the broad contours of this beautiful passage.

Eph 1:3-14 = The Christian Community's Spiritual Blessings in Christ
Eph 1:3 = Introductory blessing to God
Eph 1:4-14 = An Explanation of how God has blessed us in Christ
v. 4 = Blessing #1 (election in Christ)
v. 5-6 = Blessing #2 (adoption in Christ)
v. 7-10 = Blessing #3 (redemption in Christ)
v. 11-12 = Blessing #4 (our inheritance in Christ)
v. 13-14 = Blessing #5 (our sealing by the Spirit)

Anyone who attempts to delineate the structure of this passage is faced with two particularly pressing problems: 1) the phrase "in love" in v. 4; 2) the significance of the particple gnwrisas ("making known") in v. 9. Regarding the former problem, the issue is whether to connect the clause with the phrase "holy and blameless before him" or withthe verb "he predestined us" in v. 5. At this point, I tend to connect it with the verb "he predestined us." First, Paul seems to begin every major section of this passage with the preposition "in." Second, taking the phrase with Paul's statements in v.5 would create a rather nice parallel with Eph 2:4. Third (and probably most important), the phrase "in love he predestined us" is much more natural than "holy and blameless before him in love" (commentators who adopt this reading seem divided on what Paul might be conveying with this statement).
Regarding the latter problem, the issue is whether to take the participle "making known" in v. 9 with the grace God lavishes in v. 7-8 or to see Paul starting a new section in the passage. At this point, I tend to favor the first option. However, there are (in my opinion), convincing reasons for adopting the latter option. First, Paul also seems to begin a new section with a participle (proorisas) in v. 5. Second, the noun "mystery" plays a major role in the theology of this letter. It then becomes rather natural to see the revelation of this mystery to the believer as one of the spiritual blessings Paul is describing in this passage. That said, every other major section in this passage begins with the phrase "in him." Perhaps most damaging to the view that takes v. 9-10 as a new major section is the fact that Paul is describing heavenly realities (v. 3). It is true that Ephesians establishes a close link between earthly and heavenly realities. However, it is difficult to see how understanding the "mystery of Christ" (Paul probably equates the "mystery" of 1:9 with the "mystery of Christ" in Eph 3:4) could be considered a spiritual blessing for the believer.

Look out for a more detailed analysis of the structure of this passage, hopefully in the coming days:-)

New series on the structure of Ephesians

Okay, I haven't posted in TWO months! Even for me, that is a very extended absence. Most of my time has been spent preparing lessons for a discipleship class on Ephesians at my church (notes, diagramming passages, Powerpoint presentations), putting together my research proposal for PhD applications, and working on a couple of book-reviews. It has been a very busy time and I've simply felt the need to lighten my load a little.

Anyway, having gone through the first four and a half chapters of Ephesians (I do plan on going through the whole book), I'm going to begin posting on the structure of Ephesians. I hope these posts will be profitable for all who read them and helpful for me as I interact with others in the blogosphere.

Friday, June 09, 2006

NTW, Bird, and "The New Perspective" (Part 2)

Regarding the necessity of a mediating position between the "New Perspective" and traditional readings of Paul, Wright also makes the following observation:

"Israel too is in Adam: the people who bear the solution are themselves part of the problem, and the good and holy Torah . . . simply intensifies the problem, partly by pointing at sin within Israel, and partly, at a second level, by apparently encouraging Israel to make it an idol, to use it as a way of establishing an inalienable status of national privilege . . . This move shows, I believe, the folly of dividing up readings of Paul into the false either/or of those on the one hand which highlight the problem of sin and the question of forgiveness and those on the other which highlight the problem of Israel and the inclusion of the Gentiles within God's people. This is where the so-called 'new perspective' has made one of its necessary points - that every time Paul discusses justification he seems simultaneously to be talking about Gentile inclusion - but has not, usually, shown how this integrates with the traditional view that he is talking about how sinners are put right with God" (Paul: In Fresh Perspective, 36: italics mine).

Wright's observation regarding the link between justification and Gentile inclusion certainly seems valid for Romans and Galations. It also seems relevant for Ephesians 2:1-22.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

NTW, Bird, and "The New Perspective" (Part 1)

Dr. Michael Bird has recently announced another paper he will be presenting at ETS (link). Apparently this latest contribution from the "good Doctor" will attempt to establish some common ground with the "New Perspective" on Paul.

At this moment, I am on vacation with my wife visiting my family in the Cayman Islands. However, since this post is quite similar to a post I have been planning on putting together-and I can never resist referencing Dr. Bird's blog-I've decided to go ahead and post it now. Besides, I'm long overdue for an addition to my meager blog. Anyway, enough introduction!

While it is only the second chapter I have read in his work, "Paul: In Fresh Perspective," I'm not sure how Wright can surpass his discussion of creation and covenant in Paul. This chapter no doubt builds upon his earlier "The Climax of the Covenant," and really makes me want to finally dig through that important work.
One of the most helpful points in this chapter for me was Wright's discussion of the relationship between creation, covenant, and the law.
Here are Wright's three primary theses:
1) the covenant was intended as "the means of dealing with evil within the good creation"
2) "The family of Abraham, who themselves share in the evil, as well as in the image-bearing vocation, of the rest of humanity, treated their vocation to be the light of the world as indicating exclusive privilege"
3) "When God fulfils the covenant through the death and resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit, thereby revealing his faithful covenant justice and his ultimate purpose of new creation, this has the effect both of fulfilling the original covenant purpose (thus dealing with sin and procuring forgiveness) and of enabling Abraham's family to be the worldwide Jew-plus-Gentile people it was always intended to be" (36-37)

Wright concludes, "If there is one major result of this chapter in terms of current debates, it is that the 'new perspective' on the one hand, and its critics on the other, both need to come to terms with the integrated vision of human sin and redemption and Israel's fall and restoration which characterizes Paul through and through, precisely because his controlling categories are creation and covenant."

Again, this work proves itself (at least in my mind) to be a necessary read.

Friday, May 19, 2006

NTW and the Authorship of Ephesians

Here is another choice "morsel" from Wright's "Paul: In Fresh Perspective."

"[I]t may be high time to enquire about some of the supposed 'fixed points' of scholarship which, growing as they did out of a very different era to our own, may perhaps have been allowed to remain more by fashion (and the fear of being thought unscholarly if one challenges such fashion) than by solid argument. Take, for example, the widespread assumption still common in many quarters that not only Ephesians but also Colossians are not written by Paul himself, even if they may contain some material that goes back to him. There are, of course, many interesting points to be made on this subject. But our suspicions ought to be aroused by the fact that such consensus as there has ever beeon on the subject came from the time when the all-dominant power in New Testament scholarship lay with a particular kind of German existentialist-Lutheranism for whom any ecclesiology other than a purely functional one, any view of Jesus Christ other than a fairly low Christology, any view of creation other than a Barthian 'Nein', was deeply suspect. The false/either or, as I would see it, of justification or the church, of salvation or creation, hovered as a brooding presence over the smaller arguments (which are in any case always unconvincing, given the very small textual base) from style. The extremely marked stylistic difference between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians is far greater than that between, say, Romans and Ephesians, but nobody supposes for that reason that one of them is not by Paul. In particular, the assumption that a high Christology must mean later, and non-Pauline, authorship has been brought to the material, not discovered within it. And the argument recently advanced (in North America particularly) that Ephesians and Colossians are secondary because they move away from confrontation with the Empire to colloboration with it is frankly absurd" (18-19).

I certainly have not read everything written on the authorship of Ephesians. However, I do feel confident enough to suggest that the consensus view (non-Pauline authorship) does not seem to have the strong support that some would imagine. By the way, given my interest in "anti-Imperial rhetoric" in Ephesians, I certainly appreciate Wright's final sentence [for a helpful analysis of the relationship between the Ephesians household-code and traditional Graeco-Roman thought, see T. Gombis, "A Radically New Humanity: The Function of the Haustaufel in Ephesians," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 48 (2005): 317-30].

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Max Turner on Ephesians 1:10b

Ephesians 1:3-14 contains a number of "thorny" interpretative issues. A particularly significant problem is the meaning and translation of the infinitive anakephalaiwsasthai in 1:10b. Given that this phrase expresses a central part of the author's (Paul?) argument (scholars suggest 1:9-10 is the focal point of the passage), interpretative precision on this issue is critical to understanding this passage. Here is Max Turner's ("Mission and Meaning in Terms of 'Unity' in Ephesians" in Mission and Meaning: Essays Presented to Peter Cotterell) assessment:

"The translation of the verb anakephalaioo as "to bring back into unity" requires some brief justification. While the NIV follows an exegetical tradition that takes the verb to mean 'bring under one head', this should probably be rejected because it would suggest (incorrectly) that the verb derives from the noun kephale ('head') rather than from kephalaion ('main point', 'summary'). Etymology would thus rather support the sense 'to sum up' (as in Rom. 13:9) or possibly 'to recapitulate' (if weight is given to the prefix) . . . the phrase 'all things . . . the things in the heavens and the things on earth in him' strongly evokes the centre-piece hymnic passage of the sister letter, Colossians (1:15-20). The latter asserts that all things 'in the heavens and on the earth' were initially created in Christ (1:16), and that through the death and resurrection-exaltation of Christ 'all things' 'whether on earth or in the heavens' would eventually once more become reconciled (i.e. brought back from warring alienation into peaceful unity under God). The Colossians parallel thus suggests that the 'summing up' of all things in Christ envisaged in Ephesians 1:10 is God's bringing of them back into harmonious unity in and through Christ" (139-140).

Turner's essay also has some helpful comments on the relationship between Eph 1-3 and 4-6. Especially interesting is his discussion of the author's "new creation" theology, a motif that is implicit in Eph 1:10 and finds expression throughout the letter (cf. 2:1-10; 4:17-24).

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Right" on Narrative Criticism in the Pauline Epistles

Lately I have been enjoying working through N. T. Wright's "Paul: in Fresh Perspective." I personally think this book would serve as a very helpful College-level introduction to Paul's writings. One of the most interesting sections in his introductory chapter is his discussion of the presence of "stories" in Paul's letters.
Here are a few choice quotes:

"Once the narrative genie has been let out of the bottle, not least in a world with its eyes newly opened by contemporary literary study, you can't get it back in; and now all kinds of aspects of Paul are being tested for implicit and explicit storylines. Despite the wishes and efforts of some, this cannot be dismissed as the superimposition on Paul of a line ideas or as a mere post-liberal fad. It certainly does not reduce Paul's thought, as some have darkly hinted, to a world of 'story' over against 'doctrine' on the one hand or real life on the other. To take an obvious example, Jewish literature from the Bible to the present day is soaked in certain controlling stories, such as those of Abraham, of the Exodus, and of exile and return, so that a small allusion to one of these within a Jewish source is usually a safe indication that we should understand the whole narrative to be at least hovering in the background. When we find allusions to the same stories in Paul we are not merely invited but obliged to follow them up and lay bare the narrative world he would have take for granted."

"Understanding how stories worked in the ancient world, and how a small allusion could and did summon up an entire implicit narrative, including narratives within which speaker and hearer believed themselves to be living, is a vital tool. I have in mind her the remarkable new book on Nero by the Princeton professor Edward Champlin, in which he demonstrates in great detail . . . the way in which the rich and varied mythologies of ancient Greece and Rome functioned in the minds and imaginations of ordindary people"

"The great stories of Abraham, of Exodus, of David . . . and of exile and restoration . . . create not merely a rich narrative backcloth from which motifs can be drawn at will to produce a resonant typology but also . . . a single narrative line, containing typological recapitulations but not reducible to them, in which Paul believed that he and his contemporaries were living"

"Their [Paul and other ancient writers] narratives could and did function typologically, that is, by providing a pattern which could be laid as a template across incidents and stories from another period without any historical continuity to link the two together. But the main function of their stories was to remind them of earlier and (they hoped) characteristic moments within the single, larger story which stretched from the creation of the world and the call of Abraham right forwards to their own day, and (they hoped) into the future"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel" Again:-(

A few weeks ago, I realized that there is now a THIRD edition of J. L. Martyn's "History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel" (it is part of "The New Testament Library" series). Undoubtedly, this work has been enormously influential in Johannine studies. At the same time, however, this work presents a reconstruction of the historical setting that surrounds John's composition that has been scathingly critiqued. Thankfully, there seems to be a movement in scholarly circles away from this fanciful theory (See A. Kostenberger, "The Destruction of the Second Temple and the Composition of the Fourth Gospel," Trinity Journal 26 (2005): 208-14).
Most of the criticism surrounding Martyn's reconstruction seems to have centered on his appeal to the Birkat ha-minim (the Heretic Benediction). Raimo Hakola ("Identity Matters: John, the Jews, and Jewishness") has recently extended the critique in new directions by suggesting Martyn's proposal does not harmonize with new research on early Rabbinic Judaism. In general, Martyn's theory rests on a picture of the Pharisees exerting extensive control of Jewish society after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70. Here are Hakola's specific critiques:

1) the Pharisees had little control over synagogues during the period the FG was written;
2) documentary papyri from A.D. 70–135 reveal the average Jew was not greatly influenced by the Pharisees;
3) the Temple authorities, not the Pharisees, were likely the main enemies of the Johannine community;
4) the rift between Jews and Christians was not precipitated by Christological beliefs but because of differing attitudes towards central symbols of Jewish identity (i.e., the Torah, the Sabbath).

I am far from an expert on second-temple Judaism (frankly, I'm no where near an expert on the Gospel of John either). That said, I will give others the opportunity to comment on Hakola's first three suggestions. Regarding Hakola' last suggestion, it seems problematic on at least two-levels. First, Hakola himself (like Martyn) adopts a "two-level reading" of John that sees the FG reflecting the situation of the Johannine community rather than the life of Jesus. Second, Hakola's suggestion does not provide a satisfactory explanation of the Evangelist's "replacement theme" (Jesus as the fulfillment of major Jewish religious symbols such as the temple and Passover).

Any thoughts . . .

What I Have Learned

Okay, it has been about three weeks since I lasted posted. I have never been one to post excessively (maybe one or two a week), but even that is pathetic by my standards. So what have I been up to? In short, I'm doing my best to finally graduate this May! About three weeks ago, I turned in the first draft of my thesis to my supervisor, Dr Andreas Kostenberger. Since then, I have been franticly making the necessary corrections and "improvements." A few hours ago, I emailed my second draft to Dr Kostenberger. On Monday, April 10th (the final deadline for submitting all theses to the graduate committee), I hope to submit my final copy, complete with all front-matter.

So what have I learned as a result of this whole ordeal regarding effective research/writing? Here is a list (in no particular order):

1) Make sure you know the style you're using like the back of your hand. When you're putting together a project with page numbers that start to go in the triple digits, going back and fixing silly mistakes becomes a chore and eventually a nightmare. Rereading is necessary. But, you'll save yourself a lot of head-aches if you have it right the first time
2) Find someone who can check your writing to make sure it conforms to the style you're using and pay them well
3) Don't use Microsoft Word! I've been told Wordperfect is much more user-friendly
4) Create a template specifically for your project that conforms to whatever style you're using
5) If you drink coffee to help keep you going when you're tired, don't waste your time drinking the weak stuff. Drink straight espresso, at least three shots at a time!
6) Take as many vacations as your budget allows. Even if they're "working vacations," you'll be more productive in the long-run
7) Spend enough time doing the things that help your relax (in my case, fishing and playing vide0-games) but don't overdue it
8) Work as little as possible. Spend all the time you can WORKING in the library and in coffee-shops
9) Don't get side-tracked by pursuing major ventures like trying to rehab a house in less than a year (unless you can afford to pay someone else to do all the work)!
10) Always listen to the advice of your supervisor. Even if they're fairly "green" they probably know more about writing a major work than you do
11) Settle for nothing less than perfection, no matter the cost and how long it takes
12) Use some form of bibliography software (I've found Endnote fairly helpful)
13) Finally (and most importantly), don't let the important things like God, family, and friends suffer

Thursday, March 16, 2006

So What Is Judaism Anyway (Again)

Over at Earliest Christian History, Dr J. Crossley has a very interesting post on "Christian Origins and the Law" (link). In the comments section, Dr. M. Bird makes the following statement: "Jesus opposed the halakhah of the Pharisees and not Torah per se, but sometimes text and interpretation were not always so nearly separated." It is the distinction Dr. Bird posits between "the halakhah of the Pharisees" and the "Torah" that I was pathetically trying to elicit in my previous post.

As I have read various works that attempt to address the issue of anti-Judaism in the Gospel of John, it seems to me MOST scholars who have addressed this issue fail to make this distinction. As Dr. West noted in the previous post, there were many varieties of "Judaism" in the ancient world. Those who attempt to define "Judaism" narrowly, in my view, miss the point of the FG. In many ways, I see the "Jews" in the FG as something of a collective representative character; a character that is intended to represent adherents of those religious groups (other than "Christianity") that derive their core beliefs from interpretations/supplementations of the Torah. In my view, the Evangelist lumps these diverse groups under the rubric of the noun "Jew" and attempts to portray a Jesus who is the fulfillment of their messianic hopes.

How does this approach to the noun "Jews" impact the question of anti-Judaism in the FG? At the very least, I think it allows for something of a more positive expression of the Evangelist's anti-Judaic stance. This reading of the FG allows for the development of a historical Jesus who does NOT proclaim the inherent inferiority of Judaism. Instead, Jesus becomes something of a reformer/prophet who calls adherents of Judaism to return to the roots of their religious heritage (much like the OT prophets) and recognize the realization of the promises in the Torah in him.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

So What Is "Judaism" Anyway?

Dr. Michael Bird (link) recently posed a question on this blog regarding the Gospel of John and the "parting of the ways" (the break between Judaism and Christianity). Frankly, I am humbled by such questions because they always remind me of how little I know. I do have some OPINIONS about this issue and may even post on them. That said, I would like to gain a better sense of what those in the discipline of NT studies mean by the noun "Judaism."

So here are two (revised) related questions:
1)With regard to the sphere of Christian origins, how should the noun "Judaism" be used when referring to such groups as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Qumranites?
2)Should historical Jesus studies make a firmer distinction between the Hebrew Bible and Judaism (understood in a very broad sense) as religions that are derivative from and interpretations of the Hebrew Bible?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Anti-Judaism and the Gospel of John (again)

The following points summarize my (brief) research on the subject of anti-Judaism in the FG. I apologize in advance for the rather stale treatment of such an emotionally charged issue. I have simply tried to keep this as short as possible.

1) Despite the contention of some scholars, a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism is helpful in understanding the message of the FG. The former may be defined as "the hatred and contempt for the Jewish people and their culture." The latter may be defined as "the prejudicial denial of the validity of the Jewish religion as a viable means of attaining genuine knowledge of God" (ie. eternal life).
2) Attempts to limit the referent of the noun Ioudaios ("Judeans," "Jewish authorities" etc.) fail to adequately interpret the FG. Furthermore, while there is a connection between the Evangelist's use of the nouns Ioudaios and kosmos, a purely symbolic meaning (Bultmann, Fortna) does not account for the fact that the Evangelist is referring to real personages. In sum, the noun Ioudaios has a number of referents (primarily religous leaders but also "crowds" of Jewish people) in the FG and describes historical individuals who interacted with Jesus. This reality unfortunately produces strong anti-Semitic potential.
3) The Evangelist's 'high Christology' presents serious problems for the continuing legitimacy of Judaism. While the noun "fulfillment" (versus "replacement") seems to best describe Jesus' relationship to Jewish religious institutions in the FG , its usage does not entirely free the FG from the charge of anti-Judaism. For example, to suggest that the FG portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of the temple (John 2:13-22) still requires one address the contuining role of the Jerusalem temple. In sum, one must ask, "If Jesus fulfills something, does he not (on a rather pragmatic level) also replace it?"
4) The historical situation that gave rise to the composition of the FG also has important bearing on this subject. Not only is the 'Johannine community hypothesis' historically problematic (see S. Motyer, R. Hakola), it leads to an unduly negative portrait of the relationship between the Evangelist's audience and the Jewish people. A better approach to the composition of the FG is to see it as a Christian response to the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in 70 AD (see S. Motyer, A. Kostenberger). This reading would (partly) see the FG as an evangelistic document (cf. 20:30-31) written to portray Jesus as the fulfillment of Jewish messianic hopes.
5) In summary, if one distinguishes between anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism, there is little room to justify labeling the FG anti-Semitic. After all, this Gospel portays Jesus as a Jew (4:22) and was written to (partly) present the Jewish people with the hope of eternal life. That said, the Evangelist's 'high Christology' and related 'replacement theme' make it difficult to avoid the label 'anti-Judaic.' That said, those who consider the FG authoritative should carefully consider Motyer's suggestion that "[a]nti-Judaism is consistent with a wholehearted love both for Judaism and for Jews" ("Editorial: Is John's Gospel Anti-Semitic?," Themelios 23 (1998): 1).

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blog-roll Update

Unfortunately, I rarely update my blog-roll, much less make announcements when I do so. Nonetheless, I have decided to bring attention to two important changes: the addition of James Crossley's blog ("Earliest Christian History") and David Croteau's blog ("Slave of the Word"). Regarding the former, I have gone on the record on James' blog in support of greater dialogue between "faith-based" scholarship and "secular" scholarship. So I thought it would be rather hypocritical of me if I did not add his blog. That said, his blog is always an interesting read. Regarding the latter, I have known David for slightly over five years and have always appreciated his love for the Bible. The title of his blog says it all.

Please also note the addition of J. B. Hood's blog, "Gospel of Matthew." His blog is definitely worth reading for those interested in Matthew.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Anti-Judaism: The Need for a Proper Definition

"there is a certain overlap between anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism . 'The hatred of persons because they are Jews' means that that hatred is directed first at their religion and culture, and then at the persons themselves. However, there is a vital difference: anti-Judaism does not have to be expressed by hatred, while anti-Semitism can only be expressed in this way. Anti-Judaism is consistent with a wholehearted love both for Judaism and for Jews, while anti-Semitism is not."

S. Motyer, "Editorial: Is John's Gospel Anti-Semitic?," Themelios 23 (1998): 1.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Gospel of John and the Jews

In light of the previous post, I would like to pose the following (lengthy) question:

Does limiting the referent of the noun Ioudaioi ("Jews") in the Gospel of John to the Jewish authorities (so U. C. Von Wahlde) or Judeans (so M. Lowe, P. Tomson, J. Pilch) sufficiently reduce its anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish potential?

Any takers?

Source Criticism At Its Best (?)

After finally turning in my chapter on John the Baptist last Tuesday (can you hear the orchestra playing in the background?), I have now moved on to my analysis of Anti-Judaism in the Gospel of John. One of the issues I am addressing in this section is the referent and meaning of the noun Ioudaioi ("Jews"). The portrayal of the Jews in the FG is undoubtedly a major reason this canonical work has sadly caused some serious problems in modern history.

One of the works I discuss in this section is an article by Urban C. Von Wahlde entitled, "The Johannine 'Jews': A Critical Survey." In this article, the author attempts to liberate the FG from blame by arguing that the characteristic Johannine use of the noun Ioudaios refers to the Jewish religious leaders. Von Wahdle’s analysis effectively demonstrates the noun does refer to the Jewish leaders in some contexts (cf. 1:19–24; 7:32–36; 9:13–16, 18, 22, 40). Von Wahdle also acknowledges the noun has a number of other referents within the FG (46). However, he distinguishes between these uses and the “Johannine usage” (that of the original author) on the basis of three criteria: 1) the context indicates the author does not refer to the Jewish people as a whole; 2) the context indicates the individuals referred to express hostility towards Jesus; 3) the context indicates the individuals described do not express an elevated degree of hostility towards Jesus (41, 47). Von Wahlde then categorizes the characteristic “Johannine use” into seven distinct groups:
i) those that clearly describe the Jewish authorities expressing hostility (5:10; 9:18; 18:12);
ii) those that clearly describe Jewish authorities who display doubt (1:19);
iii) those who describe individuals expressing disbelief and uncertainty without explicitly identifying them as Jewish authorities (2:18, 22; 7:35);
iv) those that describe individuals who express opposition towards Jesus without explicitly identifying them as Jewish authorities (7:1, 11; 8:22, 48, 52, 57; 10:24, 31, 33; 11:8; 13:33; 18:31, 38; 19:7);
v) instances in the Passion narrative (19:12, 14, 31) that do not present a clear referent but likely refers to the “Jews” in 18:12, 14, 31, 36, who likely are religious leaders;
vi) uses of the noun that seem to describe the common people (6:41, 52) (pg. 47-49).

The careful reader will note a significant problem with Von Wahlde's sixth category. After all, is not the author's primary thesis that the characteristic "Johannine use" of the noun Ioudaios refers to the Jewish authorities? Is not the use of the noun in John 6:41, 52 a glaring and damaging exception to his argument?

While there are several problems with Von Wahlde's analysis, I am especially interested in his treatment of John 6:41, 52. Again, the author admits that these verses pose a serious problem for his thesis (42-44). How does he deal with this serious problem? He simply confines them to the work of a later redactor. These two verses are not the only problematic texts the author attributes to redactional activity. He also makes similar claims regarding John 3:25; 8:31; 10:19.
Von Wahlde's analysis, in my view, is an extremely prejudicial handling of the evidence. I personally cannot help but thinking this is an example of a scholar desperate to prove a theory at all costs. [The author's third criteria for a "Johannine use" of the noun Ioudaios (the absence of an increased degree of hostility) raises similar concerns.] This article makes me thankful for the emergence of Narrative and Canonical criticism in Biblical Studies. Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt desire that we all would be so lucky to develop theories this easily "defended."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Results Are In...

I have finally decided to end my two unofficial polls of the blogosphere. So here are the final results:
1) Approximately 2/3 of bloggers (RIGHTLY!) believe that when interpreting the Apocalypse one should first assume a passage is meant to be interpreted "symbolically" unless the context demands a "literal" interpretation;
2) Approximately 2/3 of bloggers believe that the Apocalypse is the most difficult New Testament work to interpret (20% of bloggers chose Romans).

I hope to put together a post sometime soon on interpreting symbolism in the Apocalypse:-)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Stellar Portrait of God

Over the past couple of years I have developed a growing interest in the literature of second temple Judaism. Unfortunately, this interest has not translated into a consistent effort to read these writings. Either because of a lack of time or discipline (more likely the latter), I simply have not gone beyond reading a little bit of 1 Enoch and some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Anyway, I have (again) picked up J. Charlesworth's "The Old Testament Pseudipigrapha: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments" and hopefully the dust will never return to this fascinating volume.

Maybe reading passages like 1 Enoch 9-10 will provide a steady dose of intrinsic motivation for me. Here is part of E. Isaac's translation of 1 Enoch 9-10:

(9:3) "And they [the angels Michael, Surafel, and Gabriel] said to one another, "The earth, (from) her empty (foundation), has brought the cry of their voice unto the gates of heaven. And now, [O] holy ones of heaven, the souls of people are putting their case before you pleading, 'Bring our jugment before the Most High.' " And they said to the Lord of the potentates, "For he is the Lord of lords, and the God of gods, and the King of Kings, and the seat of his glory (stands) throughout all the generations of the world. Your name is holy , and blessed, and glorious throughout all the generations of the world. You have made everything and with you is the authority of everything . . . And now behold, the Holy One will cry, and those who have died will bring their suit up to the gate of heaven. Their groaning has ascended (into heaven), but they could not get out from before the face of the oppression that is being wrought on earth . . . (10:1)And then spoke the Most High, the Great and Holy One! And he sent Asuryal to the son of Lamech, (saying), "Tell him in my name, 'Hide yourself!' and reveal to him the end of what is coming; for the earth and everything will be destroyed. And the Deluge is about to come upon all the earth; and all that is in it will be destroyed. And now instruct him in order that he may flee, and his seed will be preserved for all generations. " And secondly the Lord said to Raphael, "Bind Azaz'el hand and foot (and) throw him into the darkness!"

What primarily intrigues me about this passage are its parallels with the Apocalypse. One finds numberous verbal parallels ("Lord of Lords," "Kings of Kings," "binding"). Perhaps more interesting are the conceptual parallels. Note the similarity between the plea of the "souls of the people" (1 Enoch 9:3) and the "cry of the martyrs" in Rev 6:10. If the martyrs in Rev 6:10 are given "white robes" and told to "rest" by an angel (as seems likely given the use of the verb didwmi throughout Rev), then this would also parallel the portrayal of the angels in 1 Enoch 9, who serve as something of intermediaries between the human and the divine. Note also that the angel Raphael in 1 Enoch 10 :4 acts as a messenger of judgment, which parallels the role of angels throughout the Apocalypse.

Undoubtedly, the author of this text was heavily influenced by the writings of the Old Testament. 1 Enoch 9-10 is a fascinating text and its portrait of God can ALMOST be described as edifying.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Helpful resources on Ephesians

I am hoping to complete my thesis (by God's grace) within the next three months. After that, I plan to begin research on Ephesians that will hopefully lead to a dissertation proposal. At present, I think I only have three commentaries on Ephesians: Lincoln, O'brien, and C. Hodge. I obviously will need to expand my collection of works on Ephesians.

Here is a list of works on Ephesians I plan on buying/borrowing:
1) Ephesians, E. Best
2) Essays on Ephesians, E. Best
3) Studies in Ephesians, N. Dahl
4) Ephesians, H. Hoehner
5) Ephesians, M. Barth
6) Ephesians, R. Schnackenburg
7) The Theology of the latter Pauline Epistles, Lincoln; Wedderburn; Dunn
8) Ephesians, Muddiman

Any other suggestions? Anything related to the Christology in Ephesians would be especially appreciated:-)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Future Research in Biblical Studies

Choose the option that best expresses the direction you think future research in Biblical Studies should move towards:

  1. A greater emphasis on theological studies;

  2. A greater emphasis on historical studies;

  3. In Biblical Studies, it is not necessary to create a tight disjunction between Theology and History, so this is a stupid question.

"Jesus Emotions in the Fourth Gospel: Human or Divine?"

A couple of weeks ago, I came across the following monograph in the “new books” section at the S.E.B.T.S. library – "Jesus' Emotions in the Fourth Gospel: Human or Divine?" by Stephen Voorwinde. The work is a revision of the author’s dissertation at the Australian College of Theology. Since it includes a chapter on the “temple cleansing” in the Gospel of John, I decided to pick it up and see if it has any helpful material for my thesis.

The following is a brief summary of the author’s conclusion. I have decided to “review” this work because:
  1. I have not posted in a rather long time;

  2. I firmly believe that the discipline of Systematic Theology can greatly benefit from serious work in Biblical Studies;

  3. The Christology of the New Testament, to put it mildly, is an extremely meaningful subject.

Here is my summary of Voorwinde’s conclusion:
  1. In the Gospel of John, the references to Jesus’ emotions are generally connected with his coming passion (2:17; 11:3, 5, 15, 33-38, 47-53; 15:13);

  2. The only pure human emotion Jesus displays in the Gospel of John are his tears in 11:35;

  3. Jesus’ emotions are frequently set in motion by what is best described as divine prescience (cf. 11:15, 33-38; 12:27; 13:21);

  4. The love Jesus displays in the Gospel of John is familial and covenantal. Hence, Jesus’ love is both human (familial) and divine (covenantal).

  5. The portrayal of Jesus in the Gospel of John is to be understood from a deuteronomostic perspective that allows one to understand Jesus as both “the Lord of the covenant” and “the covenant sacrifice” (267)

  6. Jesus’ displays of emotion in the Gospel of John are directly linked to soteriological concerns (cf. 20:31).

Voorwinde ends his work by stating:
[t]he complexity of his [Jesus’] emotions cannot be adequately accounted for by either a humanistic or a docetic Christology. As the covenant Lord he is portrayed neither as being withdrawn from his creation nor as being absorbed by it. Our study has shown that the Johannine Jesus became involved in this world at a deeply personal and emotional level. His love provides the motivation for the world’s salvation. This salvation is achieved – surprisingly and paradoxically – through the sacrifice of the covenant Lord” (269-70)