Anachronistic Assumptions and the Documentary Hypothesis

David M. Carr opens his book, Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature, as follows: In her book Oral World and Written Word, Susan Niditch vividly illustrates the problems with contemporary assumptions about ancient textuality, as she outlines the picture many biblical scholars often assume in their discussions of biblical formation. Critiquing […]

John 7:53–8:11 Should Be in a Footnote, Not in the Text

Have you noticed the double brackets in the ESV that surround John 7:53–8:11? Those double brackets mean that the ESV’s translation committee does not consider this passage to be original to John’s Gospel. You also find double brackets around Mark 16:9–20. Do you know what it means that these passages are marked off–correctly–as not coming […]

Was There an Old Testament Before the New Testament? A Guest Post from Jason Parry

There is an ongoing debate about when the books of the Old Testament were recognized as Scripture and when, or whether, there was a closed circle of books that were recognized to be inspired by the Holy Spirit prior to the time of Jesus. Related questions include where the additional material found in the Greek […]

John Meade Reviews T. Michael Law

John Meade is doing a multi-part review of T. Michael Law’s book, When God Spoke Greek. At one level neither Law’s claims nor Meade’s response is new. At another level, these questions are constantly being re-examined, and the re-hashing of the debate can bring things into sharper focus. Like Martin Hengel and Lee Martin McDonald, T. […]

Review of Jongkind, Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus

Dirk Jongkind, Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus, Texts and Studies III.5. Piscataway: Gorgias, 2005. 323. ISBN: 9718-1-59333-422-2. $102.00. Printed Casebound. Published in Bulletin for Biblical Research 22 (2012): 260–62. Constantin von Tischendorf first visited St. Catherine’s monastery on Mt. Sinai in 1844. This eventually led to the 1862 publication of a typeset semi-facsimile of Codex […]

Grudem’s Essay, “Are Only Some Words of Scripture Breathed Out By God?”

Crossway has generously granted me permission to post a free copy of an important essay by Wayne Grudem: “Are Only Some Words of Scripture Breathed Out by God? Why Plenary Inspiration Favors ‘Essentially Literal’ Bible Translation” This essay was published in Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation (Wheaton: Crossway, 2005) 19–56. Grudem’s […]

The Word of God Is Living and Active (unless your translation philosophy emasculates it)

In Deep Exegesis: The Mystery of Reading Scripture, Peter Leithart writes (3–6), “It is easy for Christians to blame secularists for ‘letting the Bible go,’ but the church is at least as culpable. As [Clive] James points out, translation is a key symptom of our willingness to emasculate our own Scriptures. [here Leithart presents two […]

Believe in the Bible or Believe in the Christ?

In his crisp book, Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God, Timothy Ward points out that the suggestion that “Christians are not those who believe in the Bible, but those who believe in Christ” (so saith John Barton) forces “a false dichotomy on us. We do not have to choose […]

Dynamic Equivalence: The Method is the Problem

When I was studying at DTS, my Hebrew prof, who is fairly well known, was really excited about dynamic equivalence translation. I heard his lectures and saw his work. It made me uncomfortable, though I wasn’t in position to show why. I suspected that the logical outcomes of the method he was teaching would be […]

Are Your Doubts Consistent?

My friend Greg Sykes sent me this quote from Tim Keller in response to some of the comments on “Why I Believe the Bible“: “The only way to doubt Christianity rightly and fairly is to discern the alternate belief under each of your doubts and then to ask yourself what reason you have for believing it. […]

Why I Believe the Bible

A friend of mine–I’m not sure he shares my views–asked me why I believe that the Bible is God’s revelation. Having typed up my answer, I decided to post it here as well: I grew up with believing parents, and we went to believing churches. Unfortunately, the Bible was held up as authoritative more than […]

A New Fragment of Athanasius’s Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter

David Brakke has published a signifcant essay with a fresh translation of Athanasius’s Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter: “A New Fragment of Athanasius’s 39th Festal Letter: Heresy, Apocrypha, and the Canon.”  Harvard Theological Review 103 (2010): 47-66. He points to some of the implications of a “new fragment of the Coptic text” of Athanasius’s Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter: […]

Are There Errors in the Bible?

I don’t think there are errors in the Bible, and I think that valid explanations can be given for difficulties that do exist. I started a new sermon series on Ezra – Nehemiah this morning at Kenwood, and I had planned to comment on some numerical discrepancies in the text. Because of time, I decided […]

Now Available: The Sacred Text

Newly released from Gorgias Press: Michael F. Bird and Michael W. Pahl, eds. The Sacred Text: Excavating the Texts, Exploring the Interpretations, and Engaging the Theologies of the Christian Scriptures. Gorgias Précis Portfolios 7. Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias, 2010. Contents Introduction: From Manuscript to MP3 – Michael F. Bird The History of the Texts The Septuagint […]