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Translations, Introductions, and Notes
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.
Finding Faith after Certainty
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.
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.
Paul and the Ancestors in Postcolonial Africa
"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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
The Axial Age in Asia and the Near East
The years 800-200 BCE comprise one of the most creative and influential eras in world history. Karl Jaspers termed this epoch “the Axial Age,” to indicate its pivotal importance in the evolution of human thought. The ferment of religious and philosophical activity centered in four distinct regions of civilization: East Asia, South Asia, West Asia, and the Northeastern Mediterranean. Each of these areas witnessed the emergence of several imaginative individuals whose exemplary lives and teachings prompted their followers to create the traditions that led to the birth of the world religions. Zoroaster, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Gautama Buddha, Confucius, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle side by side, we are able to see more clearly the questions with which they struggled, their similarities and differences, and how their ideas have influenced religious thought down to our day.
Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought
Third wave womanism is a new movement within religious studies with deep roots in the tradition of womanist religious thought—while also departing from it in key ways. After a helpful and orienting introduction, this volume gathers essays from established and emerging scholars whose work is among the most lively and innovative scholarship today. The result is a lively conversation in which 'to question is not to disavow; to depart is not necessarily to reject' and where questioning and departing are indications of the productive growth and expansion of an important academic and religious movement.