A year ago my wife took a leave from teaching middle school to enter a graduate program in school administration. I soon noticed that she and her colleagues were being assigned lots of reading on the topic of leadership, especially on the role of a leader in times of institutional change.
In Ephesus, Timothy walked into a congregational mess with the mandate to straighten it out. He inherited both the legacy (left by Paul) and the problems for which others (among whom were Hymanaeus and Alexander) were responsible. Like the tohu wabohu of Genesis 1:2, pastoral vocation doesn't begin with a clean slate.
Outside the Four Gospels, the New Testament yields precious little about Jesus," writes John P. Meier, a prominent Catholic biblical scholar and author of A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus.
We are gathered here in a Christian church as participants in a Christian memorial service to honor the life of Richard, a man who said that he did not believe in God. What right have we to do this? It would certainly be an affront to his memory were we, by this service, to deny him the right to have been the man he was. We cannot pretend or even suggest that he really was somehow, despite his insistence to the contrary, a Christian believer. Indeed, it would be a scandal if we who claim to honor Richard’s memory did not allow him, by his unbelief, to call into question our Christian belief.
Paul is the New Testament figure that many Christians love to hate. To gain a new hearing for the apostle, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, offers a new way to think about him: by means of his mothering imagery.
Resurrecting Jesus: The Earliest Christian Tradition and Its Interpreters
Dale C. Allison Jr.
Render to Caesar: Jesus, the Early Church, and the Roman Superpower
An Introduction to the New Testament: Witnesses to God's New Work
Charles B. Cousar
Romans (Abingdon New Testament Commentary)
Leander E. Keck
Theological Hermeneutics and 1 Thessalonians
Apostle Paul: His Life and Theology
Colossians and Philemon (Two Horizons New Testament Commentary)
Marianne Meye Thompson
Understanding Matthew: The Early Christian Worldview of the First Gospel
A Woman's Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity
Carolyn Osiek and Margaret Y. MacDonald, with Janet Tulloch
Called to Be Church: The Book of Acts for a New Day
The Jews of Jesus’ time, the preacher intoned, were slavishly devoted to the practices of their ancestors. They studied scripture but did not apply it. Their temple was “rotten to the core.” Ancient Judaism was a religion whose rituals were “impressive, inspiring and empty.” It was a faith preoccupied with the superficial and lacking in substance.
When I read the lectionary texts for this week, I was disappointed. Give me texts of David sinning, Amos raging against the “cows” of Bashan or Jesus again in trouble for loving outcasts. These I can run with. But don’t give me Paul always confident, walking by faith and not sight, apparently really feeling he’d rather be at home with the Lord than in his body, regarding no one from a human point of view.
Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire
Brian J. Walsh and Sylvia C. Keesmaat
In Search of Paul: How Jesus' Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire with God's Kingdom.