Advent is the season of coming, since we commemorate the coming of God’s Son in flesh. Advent is just as much a season of giving, since we glorify the God who so loved that He gave. Distorted as it can become, Christmas giving is a profoundly right way to celebrate the incarnation. By giving . . . . Continue Reading »

Social autarkeia

In a 1999 article in Neotestmentica , Stephan Joubert observes that Paul teaches that God’s grace enables the Corinthians to experience autarkeia , “self-sufficiency” (2 Corinthians 9:8). The word is a common one in Stoic ethics, describing the placid contentment of the sage . . . . Continue Reading »

Be first second

In his contribution to The Word Leaps the Gap: Essays on Scripture and Theology in Honor of Richard B. Hays , John Barclay highlights the creativity of Paul’s notion of reciprocity in the church. Reciprocity as Paul conceives it “has the capacity to complicate power relations, and to . . . . Continue Reading »


When Moses comes down from Sinai, he puts a veil over his shining face. The people couldn’t look at God’s glory, Paul tells us, because their hearts were hard. That was then. Paul himself is in a very different place. He speaks openly, without a veil. He doesn’t hide the glory of . . . . Continue Reading »

Multiplier of Grace

Thanksgiving was clearly a part of the liturgical life of the early Christians. In talking about tongues, Paul says that one who does not know the tongue cannot join in the “Amen” at the eucharistia , since he cannot understand what has been said (1 Corinthians 14:16). Paul uses the . . . . Continue Reading »