Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reading the Bible Interculturally

I wanted to give a quick post about the latest issue of the Covenant Quarterly that has, with volume 73, no. 2, officially turned digital (the last print issue was 73, no. 1). Articles are freely available on the journal website (here). This latest issue is dedicated to the task of reading the Bible interculturally. I wrote the first article, and it was not an easy one to compose. 
   Many evangelicals are wary of contextualized readings of Scripture because of the dangers of "eisegesis," or reading into the text ideas or concepts that are foreign to the Bible. But I have argued that an appreciation of how Asian American, African American, Latino/a American, and other ethnic groups interpret the biblical text actually does the opposite: it acts as a mirror to our own presuppositions and biases, and it provides needed tools for exegesis and hermeneutics. Check out the issue by following the links above to the PDF copies of the articles. Below is a snapshot of the contributors and articles titles. 
Covenant Quarterly 73, no. 2 (2015)
dedicated to the topic of Reading the Bible Interculturally (RBI)
One more note: I'm thrilled that past students of mine, Nilwona Nowlin and Erik Borggren, have authored two of the articles in this issue. It is also a thrill to have Dr. Bruce Fields from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School contribute his fine plenary paper for the journal, originally read at North Park's Eaton-Jones Memorial Lectureship last Spring 2015. Kudos also belong to Hauna Ondrey, an assistant professor of church history at North Park, for her fine editorial work. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Back to Blogging after a Summer Hiatus

The summer has blitzed by and I'm still catching my breath. Although I returned from the seminary trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo in early June, and was planning on only taking a few weeks before going back to blogging, I ended up taking the entire summer off. I took a week to recover from the Congo trip and then one demand after another ensued. Now the Fall semester is about to begin at North Park. Ugh!
    This academic year, I'm on a sabbatical research leave (Thank you Louisville Institute and North Park for making this a reality!). Ironically, while I am free from teaching and administrative duties, I have a full plate of research and writing demands that will occupy my time fully (not to mention that I have my oldest son applying to colleges this year and all the parental duties that are tied to that enterprise!). However, I do plan to get back to a weekly posting on the Paul Redux blog now that I am gearing up for a year of instense reading, writing, text-editing, and everything else that needs to be done to finish two book projects. 
     I'll begin by posting some reflections on my Congo student trip, and then my visit to the Getty Villa early August. Stay tuned for the next post! It's good to be back and into a regular routine again. Blessings! 


The Protestant University of Ubangi (UPU)
where I taught a 5-day seminar series on Reconciliation
Photo by Max Lee © 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

On Mission to Congo

Whew! After blazing through finals week, graduation, and submitting the grades for all my classes, I'm taking off on a two-week mission trip with North Park's missiology professor Paul DeNeui and a team of seminary students.
From Chicago to Congo:
North Park's 2015 Summer Mission Trip
The schedule is full... when I get back, I'll not only blog about my trip but I'll start making regular posts again after a short hiatus. Until then, blessings!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Intertextuality in the New Testament Interpretation Sessions for SBL-Atlanta 2015

After reading well over 40 or so proposals, the steering committee of the Intertextuality in the New Testament Interpretation Section (of which I am co-chair) for the Society of Biblical Literature finally made its decisions on which papers to accept for our three sessions in Atlanta this November 2015. 
We have two themed sessions: one on the Gospel of John, and the other on rhetorical criticism and the Pauline letters. The 3rd session was an open session. I'm presiding for the Paul presentations and am especially eager to hear the paper, among others, from Andrew Das of Elmherst College. I've read his work on Galatians and used select chapters to teach my classes with great appreciation for the quality of scholarship and insight (see, e.g., his Paul, Covenant and the Law and Paul and the Jews). And I just picked up his commentary on Galatians which is whopping 800+ pages. I might just bug him during our breaks and down-time about some of his work on Paul's view of the Torah and justification through faith.
   In any case, our three sessions are outlined below, subject to any last minute adjustments. Looking forward to hearing these!


Session 1: Intertextuality and the Gospel of John

Erik Waaler, Presiding

William M. Wright IV, Duquesne University
Illumining John’s Use of Multivalent Biblical Images through Patristic Reception History (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Sheldon Steen, Florida State University
Him Whom My Soul Loves: Song 3:1-5 as Narrative Framework for John's Resurrection Account (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Andrew Byers, St John's College, University of Durham
Jesus Prays the Shema as Ezekiel’s Prophesied King: A Reassessment of Johannine Oneness (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Chan Sok Park, College of Wooster
The Sapiential Traditions in the Fourth Gospel: Johannine Jesus as an Imitable Wisdom Incarnate (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Paul Korchin, Briar Cliff University
Pontius Pilate as Anti-Moses in the Gospel of John (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)



Session 2: Intertextuality, Rhetorical Criticism, and the Pauline Letters

Max Lee, North Park Theological Seminary, Presiding

A. Andrew Das, Elmhurst College
An Audience-Oriented Approach to Paul’s Use of Scripture in Galatians: Reader Competence and Differing Target Audiences (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Raymond Morehouse, University of St. Andrews
Diatribe and Deuteronomy: Romans 3.1-6 as Guided Reflection on Deuteronomy 32.4 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Douglas C. Mohrmann, Cornerstone University
Paul’s Use of Scripture in Romans 9-11 as Palimpsest: Literature in the Second Degree (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Jason A. Myers, Asbury Theological Seminary
Paul and the Rhetoric of Obedience: A Rhetorical Reading Obedience (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

G. Brooke Lester, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
No, Seriously: a Unifying Theory of Allusion (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)



Session 3: Intertextuality in Mark, Matthew and Galatians

Alice Yafeh-Deigh, Azusa Pacific University, Presiding

Julie M. Smith, Independent Scholar
A Double Portion: An Intertextual Reading of Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2) and Mark's Greek Woman (Mark 7:24-30) (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Mateus de Campos, University of Cambridge
The ‘sign from heaven’ and the ‘bread from heaven’ - Echoes of the Manna Tradition in Mark 8:10-13 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Gary A. Phillips, Wabash College
Eye for an I: Intertextuality, Lex Talionis, and the Call of Justice (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Gary Michael, University of Aberdeen
Divorce and Remarriage in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and Matthew 19:3-9 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Gregory M. Barnhill, Baylor University
Reading Isaiah with Paul: Who are Mother Zion's Children? (20 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

He Is Risen! Blessings this Easter Sunday

It has been some time since I posted on the blog, but it has not been from lack of desire. My schedule has gotten a bit out-of-control these past few weeks. I might not be able to return to blogging regularly until after my trip to Congo in May. Until then, I do wish many who have visited this blog the Lord's blessings this Easter weekend! I shall return to blogging regularly. I simply need to get other tasks out of my queue before I can do this any time soon.
The Garden Tomb, the alternative location for the burial of Jesus
beyond the traditional site at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons © 2008
Hope you are having a glorious Easter and see you again in May! MJL

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Post-Screening Discussion of A Polite Bribe at SBL 2014

A week ago, I received an email from Robert Orlando, the director and producer of the movie documentary Apostle Paul - A Polite Bribe, informing me that the post-screening discussion between him, Ben Witherington, and Larry Hurtado is up on vimeo for public viewing. At the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in San Diego, there was a showing of the film to the scholarly community (on the evening of Nov. 22nd, 2014). The dialogue which took place afterwards can be found below:


APB Post Screening SD from A Polite Bribe on Vimeo.

   I have not watched all of it yet, but it looks good at first glance. Both Hurtado and Witherington are very judicious and thoughtful scholars, and we also get a glimpse into the motivations and aspirations which spurred Orlando to pursue this project, for the benefit of many. 
   Here is also a link to my own blog review of the film. 
Book edition of the film (with notes!)
available for purchase at amazon
Lastly, in case anyone wished the film had footnotes for where its ideas were originating from, Orlando has published a book version of his thesis through Wipf & Stock Publishers. Click the link above to purchase it through amazon. Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Proposals, Panels, and Exams

The end of February through early March has been a tough dry spell from blogging. I have several half-finished posts in the queue but have been delayed with: 1) grading 35 undergraduate papers, 2) grading 35 undergraduate quizzes, 3) grading 30 seminary New Testament 2 midterms, 4) grading 30 seminary papers, 5) grading 20 Greek II midterms, and then 6) I flew away this weekend to sunny/rainy/humid Orlando, Florida to attend the Association of Theological Schools Roundtable events for Ethnic/Racial and Midcareer Faculty (Mar 5-8, 2015). The rountables, by the way, were fantastic. I participated in a panel on collaborative projects, but also learned much from colleagues in the area of post-tenure research, teaching, administrative service, and formation (more on this in future posts).
Screen capture of INTI paper proposal statistics (Click to enlarge)
   Now, I have to read through 34 paper proposals submitted to the the Intertextuality and New Testament Interpretation Section (I'm a co-chair) for the SBL meeting in Atlanta this November 2015. Wow! I think this year is the most proposals we have received since we first started as a consultation group back in 2008. 
   In other words, I have to finish reading the proposals and some full papers before I can get back to blogging again. Stay tuned!