The Weekly Roundup – 2.7.20
You didn’t want it, ask for it, or need it, but nevertheless the Weekly Roundup has returned!
- Andre Gagne (PhD, Université catholique de Louvain/Université de Montréal) posted the first in a series on eschatology entitled “Unraveling the ‘End Times,’” complete with that charming Canadian accent we’ve all come to love in our neighbors to the north. Gagne discusses various eschatological frameworks including preterism, historicism, idealism, and futurism, as well as the subject of the millennium which is variously interpreted by Christians. For example, I grew up a dispensational premillennialist of the Scofield/Larkin/Ruckmanite variety (Jesus returns before the 1,000 year reign of Rev. 20) but in my 20s moved to amillennialism (the “1,000” is symbolic of the post-Resurrection era before Jesus’ return). If you’re not familiar with Christian eschatology or if you just need a refresher, Gagne’s series so far looks like a great place to start!
- The January 2020 Biblical Studies Carnival was posted by Jim West and includes a lot of great material. Of tragic interest was a link about the death of New Testament scholar J. Ramsey Michaels who died on January 18th. And as West points out, his death was barely a blip on the radar, despite his contributions to the field of biblical scholarship. I’ve consulted his commentary on 1 Peter in the Word Biblical Commentary series numerous times. Michaels also wrote the most recent edition of the commentary on John for NICNT. He will be missed.
- The most recent episode of the New Testament Review covers Margaret Mitchell’s “New Testament Envoys in the Context of Greco-Roman Diplomatic and Epistolary Conventions: The Example of Timothy and Titus.” This piece which appeared in the Journal of Biblical Literature is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for those without some training in Koine Greek. But as usual, Laura Robinson and Ian Mills do an excellent job of breaking down Mitchell’s piece into chewable morsels for those of us who are not scholars.
- Over at Scribes of the Kingdom you can find an interesting summary of the effect Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the fourth century CE had upon Western civilization. Citing the work of Kenneth Harl, Alex makes note of Christianity’s slow growth and its coming of age. He writes, “Constantine’s military victory under the Chi-Rho at the Milvian Bridge was then, in the end, of supreme historical, political, and religious importance. It was there on the battlefield—that particular battlefield—and not in the marketplace or in the streets, that the war between Christianity and idolatry was won.” This is a far cry from the original vision of Jesus and the earliest disciples who pictured a world ending soon wherein the decisive battle would be led by the Son of man, not a son of Rome.
- After a long wait, @bibhistctxt‘s next post in his “Israelite Origins” series is up on his website. He discusses the curious mention of Asher in Egyptian texts dated to around the 13th century BCE, before the date usually given for the Late Date Exodus. But lest its proponents rejoice, @bibhistctxt shows that the Deuteronomistic claim of a large population in the towns of Judah is null and void for either the Late or Early Date crowd per the archaeological data. This is a really smart post.