Current Issues

New Creation and the New Israel in… Galatians?

One of the most overlooked references to the new creation, and also to the church’s identity, is in Gal 6:15-16: For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation (καινὴ κτίσις). And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. You can see here that Paul is summarizing his argument in Galatians because he states “neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision.” That claim alludes to…

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Is Original Guilt a Biblical Idea?

Original guilt and original sin are two distinct concepts. Although theologians might define the terms differently, I would define them as, respectively, (1) the inheritance of Adam’s guilt and (2) the inheritance of Adam’s sinful nature….

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Did Christ Descend into Hell?

The Apostles’ Creed has a line that many are uncomfortable with reciting: “he descended into hell.” Those who are uncomfortable with the phrase might note that it did not enter the creed until very late, perhaps around the seventh century. But even so, the concept of Christ’s descent to the realm of the dead pervades the writings of the early Fathers. They all believed he des….

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When Did the New Testament Become Scripture?

Many modern scholars have settled on c. AD 200 as the earliest period at which the New Testament writings were considered Scripture. Irenaeus has been called the “principal architect” of the canon, while another scholar has said Irenaeus “essentially created the core of the New Testament canon of Holy Scripture.” But a fresh examination of the evidence suggests that the New Testament writings were considered Scripture far earlier than Irenaeus….

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Thinking Further about the Greek Perfect Tense-Form

The Greek perfect tense-form is the most puzzling of the indicative forms. Its formation is interesting, its aspectual value is debated, and its flexibility in use is astounding. I’m always happy to learn more about the perfect and I hear there is an entire edited volume coming out on it. But until then, we can whet our appetite with several essays in the recently published The Greek Verb Revisited. In this….

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Redefining Verbal Aspect: Challenging the Reigning Paradigm

In The Greek Verb Revisited, one author took on a reigning paradigm in Koine Greek studies: how we define verbal aspect. It is widely understood (and I have understood it myself) as the subjective representation of an event. That means the author’s choice of tense-form determined how they were attempting to portray the event, not how the event actually happened in reality….

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