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4 Ezra and 2 Baruch

Translations, Introductions, and Notes

By Michael E. Stone and Matthias Henze

Fresh translations of early Jewish texts 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch, written in the decades after the Judean War, which saw Jerusalem conquered, the temple destroyed, and Judaism changed forever.

This handy volume makes these two important texts accessible to students, provides expert introductions, and illuminates the interrelationship of the texts through parallel columns.

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51% Christian

Finding Faith after Certainty

by Mark Stenberg

God is not an idea. Christian faith is not a set of propositions you either believe or reject. According to a proper Trinitarian understanding, God is essentially relationship, a relationship of sheer, active, ecstatic, self-giving love. If we truly are encountered by this magnificent love of the Trinity, then faith becomes a living and active daily practice. Just like a healthy marriage or a close and loyal friendship, it becomes something you choose every day.

This “51% Christian” moniker is a ridiculous label with a deadly serious point. You now have permission to doubt, to question, to get angry at God. But, in the end, it’s not about you. Faith is about relationship: a living, daily relationship, based on trust, and active in concrete, daily practices.

With this sort of freedom in grace, Stenberg takes a fresh new look at theology, thirteen topics that, one by one, examine the best of what the Bible and the history of Christian practitioners have to say. Looking through this grace-based, radically relational lens, the author offers a lively and engaging discussion of topics such as creation, violence, love, death, heaven, and hell. You might not always agree. But you will not be bored.

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Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom

By Demetrios E. Tonias

Throughout its first three centuries of existence, the Christian community, while new to the Roman world’s pluralistic religious scene, portrayed itself as an historic religion. The early church community claimed the Jewish Bible as their own and looked to it to defend their claims to historicity. While Jews looked to Moses and the Sinai covenant as the focus of their historical relationship with God, the early church fathers and apologists identified themselves as inheritors of the promise given to Abraham and saw their mission to the Gentiles as the fulfillment of God’s declaration that Abraham would be “a father of many nations” (Gen 17:5).M

It is in light of this background that Demetrios Tonias undertakes the first, comprehensive examination of John Chrysostom’s view of the patriarch Abraham.

By analyzing the full range of references to Abraham in Chrysostom’s work, Tonias reveals the ways in which Chrysostom used Abraham as a model of philosophical and Christian virtue, familial devotion, philanthropy, and obedient faith.

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Abraham Our Father

Paul and the Ancestors in Postcolonial Africa

by Israel Kamudzandu

"Father Abraham had many sons . . ." So goes the chorus that the Shona people learned from European missionaries as part of the broader experience of colonization that they share with other African peoples. Urged to abandon their ancestors and embrace Christianity, the Shona instead engaged in a complex and ambiguous negotiation of ancestral myths, culture, and power.

Israel Kamudzandu explores this legacy, showing how the Shona found in the figure of Abraham himself a potent resource for cultural resistance, and makes intriguing comparisons with the ways the apostle Paul used the same figure in his interaction with the ancestry of Aeneas in imperial myths of the destiny of the Roman people. The result is a groundbreaking study that combines the best tradition-historical insights with postcolonial-critical acumen. Kamudzandu offers at last a model of multi-cultural Christianity forged in the experience of postcolonial Zimbabwe.

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The Absence of God in Biblical Rape Narratives

In this groundbreaking work to identify and address God's absence in three key rape narratives in the Hebrew Bible, Leah Rediger Schulte finds a pattern that indicates a larger community crisis. With a careful look at Genesis 34, Judges 19, and 2 Samuel 13, this study outlines God's absence, a foreign presence, and a persistent problem that is resolved incorrectly to highlight consequences of the Israelites breaking their covenant with God.

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Act and Being

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Written in 1929-1930 a Dietrich Bonhoeffer's second dissertation, this book deals with the questions of consciousness and conscience in theology from the perspective of the Reformation insight about the origin of human sinfulness in the "heart turned in upon neither to the revelation of God nor to the encounter with the neighbor."

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Acting for Others

Trinitarian Communion and Christological Agency

by Michaela Kusnierikova

This book explores why the metaphor of the church as a family is insufficient. Taking up Arendt’s notions of action and her criticism of privatization, the author examines community, relation, and human subjects through the work of Bonhoeffer and Staniloae. Synthesizing Bonhoeffer and Staniloae, Christian calling is unfolded not only as acting for others, but also with others as Trinitarian participatory response—response to the words and deeds of the three divine Persons acting in communion.

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Acts

A Commentary

by Richard I. Pervo and edited by Harold W. Attridge

Deeply conversant in the full range of questions and interpretations of the letter, Jewett's commentary explores the crucial and controverted passages that have always animated studies of Romans. Jewett also incorporates the exciting new insights from archaeology of the city of Rome, social history of early Christianity, social-scientific work on early Christianity, and the interpretation and reception of Paul's letter through the ages.

Breaking free from abstract approaches that defend traditional theologies, Jewett shows that the entire letter aims to elicit support for Paul's forthcoming mission to the "barbarians" in Spain. His work specifically focuses on Paul's missionary plans and how they figure in the letter, on Paul's critical and constructive tack with the Roman community, and finally and especially on how Paul's letter reframes the entire system of honor and shame as it informed life in the Roman Empire at the time. The latter remains a pertinent message today. The first commentary to interpret Romans within the imperial context as well as in the light of the situation in Spain, this landmark commentary, twenty-five years in the making, will set the standard for interpretation of Romans for the next generation.

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Acts of the Apostles

by Ronald J. Allen

Readings from Acts are offered only during Easter, so how can preachers make this important book come alive throughout the church year?

Acts of the Apostles helps the preacher identify possibilities for sermons based on texts and themes in the book of Acts. While offering a basic exegetical framework for interpreting passages in Acts in their historical, literary, rhetorical, and theological contexts, this volume also suggests ways in which the preacher can relate passages and motifs from Acts to the congregation and world today.

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Acts of the Apostles

by Hans Conzelmann

The Acts of the Apostles joins the Gospel of Luke with the ministry of Paul. Renowned New Testament scholar Richard I. Pervo shows how this masterful storyteller worked his magic, drawing on first-century literary techniques of narration and characterization. Luke's literary skills did not prevent scribes from re-writing his masterwork, however, the textual tradition of Acts is among the most intriguing of the documents of the New Testament, and is a focus here.

Elegantly written, Pervo's commentary provides a compelling interpretation of Acts in the context of Hellenistic literature and the emerging Christian movement, Readers will rediscover the "profit with delight" that was the ideal of ancient story-tellers.

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