Strange doings in John 21

Some oddities of the narrative of John 21. Peter, we’re told, has stripped, apparently to make it easier to do his fishing. When he hears that Jesus is on the shore, he puts ON his outer robe and throws himself into the sea. As a practical matter, this doesn’t make much sense; . . . . Continue Reading »

Decentered Self of Protestantism

Guy Waters thinks that I’m abandoning the Reformation by questioning an ontology rooted in the notion of “substance.” I say, On the contrary. In an article on the Reformation doctrine of justification, Berndt Hamm writes: “Behind this epoch-making change in the understanding . . . . Continue Reading »

Genealogical numerology

Austen Farrer suggests this numerological interpretation of Matthew 1: Matthew arranges the genealogy in “three pairs of sevens, six ‘weeks’ grouped in twos.” Thus, “we have only six, as it were the working ‘days’ of a week of weeks. In six days God made . . . . Continue Reading »

Before Abraham Was

Matthew introduces his genealogy with a phrase drawn from Gen 2:4 and 5:1: the “book of the genesis.” It looks as if Jesus is the end point of the genealogy, as if it begins with Abraham and ends with Joseph/Jesus. That’s clearly true. But when we examine the allusion to Gen 2:4 . . . . Continue Reading »

These Ten Times

In Num 14:22, Yahweh charges that Israel has tested Him “these ten times.” Ronald Allen offers this list of 10 rebellions in his Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1. Israel’s fear that Pharaoh would destroy them, Ex 14:10-12 2. Marah, Ex 15:22-24 3. Hunger in the wilderness, Ex . . . . Continue Reading »

Suffer Little Children

Jesus obviously welcomes children to Himself, but I wonder if there’s isn’t something more specific going on in the gospel stories about Jesus and children. Something like this: Jesus is the new Moses who calls Israel to follow Him to the promised land. Many in Israel refuse, and Jesus . . . . Continue Reading »

Guy on Me

Guy Waters devotes a chapter to my views on sacramental theology in his recent book. While much of it is a reasonably accurate summary of my various writings on this subject, he devotes a few pages to critique. Here are a few responses to that critique. 1) Waters rightly notes that my sacramental . . . . Continue Reading »

Dual creation

Assuming Gen 1:1 describes an act of creation and is not a title: It’s striking that the Gen account begins with the creation of two realms rather than a single entity or realm. Hesiod says that there was one reality, chaos; Anaximander says “together were all things”; Thales . . . . Continue Reading »

Inventing science

Bill Cavanaugh has argued that the early modern “wars of religion” were not really conflicts about religion but rather conflicts that created the modern notion of religion. Something similar can be said about the war between Scripture and science in the early modern period. In fact, . . . . Continue Reading »

Random notes

Wim JC Weren proposes a “macrostructure” for Matthew in a 2006 article in Biblica. His scheme is not convincing, but along the way he makes some helpful observations. 1) He suggests that there’s a topographical thread running through the gospel, marked by various recurrent . . . . Continue Reading »