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Showing posts from June, 2011

Bruce Chilton on the Eucharist in early Christianity

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I have been reading through Bruce Chilton, A Feast of Meanings: Eucharistic Theologies from Jesus through Johannine Circles (Brill, 1994). The following citation is a significant methodological statement about what he thinks about the eucharistic texts in the New Testament.

Chilton states (pp. 6-7):
"Each of them [that is, the previous views on the eucharistic texts such as those held by Jeremias and others] presupposes that eucharistic texts are best understood as referring simply to the past: Jesus is held to have said and done such and so, and the only issue of importance is whether that is fact or artifice. Each alternative posits a single hero behind the texts, either a willing martyr or a literary genius, who forges meaning in an instant of creativity. The hero acts, and the texts lie inert. But along with their diversity, among the most striking features of the eucharistic texts--especially in the Synoptics, Paul, and the Didache--is their insistence that they relate things…

Enoch Seminar 2011, Milan: 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra: Final Schedule

The finalized schedule for the Enoch Seminar in Milan has recently been posted. Links to most of the papers have been made available, although access is restricted to attendees. One of the Enoch Seminar traditions is that no papers are read at the conference. The attendees are to read all of the papers (yes, all of the papers) ahead of time. The sessions at the conference sessions are given to a brief summary of the papers and to significant discussion. Seems like a much more enjoyable and interesting way to run a conference, especially one located in Italy.

A Hitchhiker's Guide to Jesus, Bruce Fisk

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I have just finished Bruce Fisk's enjoyable and fun A Hitchhiker's Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground (Baker Academic, 2011). I saw the book in a Baker Academic announcement a couple weeks ago, and since I am teaching a course on Jesus and the Synoptic Tradition this coming fall, I thought I should check it out (not to mention that Bruce Fisk teaches at my alma mater Westmont College). After reading the first chapter, I was hooked and knew that I would be placing the book on the required reading list for my course.

When my copy first arrived, I read through the comments from an impressive list of academics and was a bit skeptical of what seemed like overly positive praise. Rereading those comments now, they are right on. For example, Gary Burge states: "Bruce Fisk has possibly written the most creative, fascinating, and informed book on the Gospels in a generation..." For me, what makes this book so appealing is the way in which Fisk weaves together man…

Tyndale Announces Successful Capital Campaign

Brief press release:

Tyndale University College & Seminary has raised $52 million to date towards the purchase of its new Bayview Campus and new programs. The Uncommon Ground capital campaign, launched in 2007, has raised over $44 million or 76% of its $58 million goal in just 4 years, as well as an additional $8 million for endowed chairs and facilities upgrades... The full press release can be found on www.tyndale.ca Maclean's has already reported on the campaign: "Christian University Raises Loads of Cash"

Albert Einstein on Jesus

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I ran across this interesting quote of a quote of a quote in James H. Charlesworth's, The Historical Jesus An Essential Guide (Abingdon, 2008), p. 8.

"Einstein is often not mentioned in the list of Jews who admired the historical Jesus. In Einstein and Religion, Max Jammer quotes an interview with Einstein in 1929; here are Einstein's words: 'I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life' (p. 2)."