Showing posts from November, 2014

Reflections from ETS 2014: Rejuvenation and Renovation

ETS is the Evangelical Theological Society. This year the annual meeting was in San Diego, CA. The weather was delightful, the meeting much more so.

I go to ETS to get mentally rejuvenated -- hear papers on cutting edge research, see the latest books from conservative publishers, meet scholars whose names and works I've read, reconnect with friends from scholarly community. 

I also go to ETS to be humbled. Being a prof at a small school makes it relatively easy to lose sight of how much I don't know. 

Wow, my ignorance is profound! It's good for me, and it's good for my students that I be reminded of how much there is to know, and how little of it that I know.

The most humbling aspect of this year's conference came during breakfast with Dad. He was commenting on Christ's condescension, his kenosis (self-emptying / self-humbling; Phil. 2:5-8). I felt almost physically punched as I contemplated the Omniscient One, the Source and Sustainer of all reality and thus of a…

Women, Adorn Yourselves with "Sobriety" -- New Insight on 1 Tim. 2:9

In 1 Tim. 2:9, Paul says believing women are to adorn themselves with sophrosunes (σωφροσύνης).

The KJV reads:
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety (sophrosunes); not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
About a year ago, I decided that I needed to get a better handle on how sophrosunes was used. When I began my investigation, I was startled by what I found.

Comparison of English Versions
A comparison of major English translations reveals a surprising lack of consensus about the meaning of sophrosunes:

KJV:       sobriety
ASV:      sobriety
NASB:    discreetly
LEB:       self-control
ESV:       self-control
HCSB:    good sense
NIV:        propriety
NLT:        decent (?)
RSV:       sensibly
NRSV:    decently
CEB:       sensible
NET:       self-control

Several things stood out to me about this data:
the NASB is alone in translating it “discreetly” self-control (ESV, LEB, NET) and sensible (RSV, CEB, HCSB)…

The Fig Tree that Withered Immediately & Scriptural Inerrancy - Part 2

Although I'm committed to the theological, epistemological, and hermeneutical assumptions I shared in my previous post, I'll admit that I really prefer a linguistically satisfactory resolution to apparent discrepancies.

My student wasn't satisfied with Carson's EBC explanation of how the Matthew and Mark versions of the triumphal entry relate to one another.

He wrote back:
I don't think [Carson's] rationalization of Matthew and Mark's distinctions is acceptable ... The crux of the matter is ... that Matthew clearly portrays the scene as one where Jesus curses the tree, it withers away instantly, and the disciples are shocked by how soon it withered- a single event that occurs after the turning over of the tables, whereas Mark says Jesus cursed it before He threw over the tables, then after he overthrows the tables and spends the night in Bethany upon returning from Bethany, Peter says in a way that implies time has passed since the cursing, that the tree…

The Fig Tree that Withered Immediately & Scriptural Inerrancy - Part 1

I recently received an email from a student that went something like this:

Dear Sir,
I believe that the Scriptures are the divine inspired Word of God, but I also believe that because men were used to convey this Word, rather than God writing it Himself, it stands to reason that due to man's imperfect nature, there are some slight inconsistencies that however do not deter from the main themes and teachings and intents of the stories. Specifically, Matthew and Mark's accounts of the triumphal entry don't agree. Matthew has Jesus curse the fig tree, which withers at once, and then go into the temple and cleanse it (Mat. 21). Mark has Jesus curse the fig tree, go cleanse the temple, and return the next day to find the tree withered (Mk 11). They can't both be right.  Would you agree with me that this is a historical error? My first thought was to show why the narratives are compatible and harmonious. My second thought was that I need to address the underlying assumpt…